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Does eating a lot of sugar increase your cancer risk?

A common concern regarding cancer is its related risk to sugar intake. There is a lot of misconception about how eating sugar affects (or not) a person’s cancer risk. Doctors say that a diet high in sugar does not directly cause or create an increased risk of cancer.

What they have concluded is that eating a lot of sugar can lead to weight gain or obesity, which, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research, has been linked to 12 different types of cancer. They point out that excess body fat has been related to breast (post-menopausal), colorectal, endometrial, esophageal, gall bladder, kidney, liver, mouth/pharynx/larynx, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate (advanced) and stomach cancer.

Fat cells release inflammatory proteins called adipokines, which can damage DNA and eventually cause tumors. The more fat cells you have, (being over weight) the more of these proteins you’re likely to have.

There is also evidence that points toward insulin being the culprit when it comes to cancer. Rather than sugar being the bad guy, doctors say some cancers may start with high levels of insulin, the hormone that controls the amount of sugar in your blood.

Research shows that “having high levels of insulin is likely to drive cancer. And what drives insulin levels is sugar.”

There is also a misconception that eating sugar quickens the cancer pace, another belief doctors say is a myth. While cells, including cancer cells, depend on blood sugar for energy, eating more sugar does not make them grow faster nor will consuming less sugar cause them to grow more slowly.

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