Sugar and Cancer Cells

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Here is a good topic to think about and discuss:

Ask the Nutritionist

Q: The question of sugar and white flour always comes up. Does sugar feed cancer cells? Am I harming myself and encouraging a recurrence if I eat sugar?

A: The notion that sugar feeds cancer is widespread in the public press. To cut to the chase: it's not that simple. There is not a 1:1 ratio or direct link between eating a bite of sugar and the resulting growth of a certain number of cancer cells. "Sugar" is a term often used to represent dozens of important, natural chemical structures that exist in our bodies. However, most of us hear the word sugar and think of the white form of table sugar.

The typical American diet is high in many processed and refined foods, including sugar and white flour. Replacing these foods with healthy forms of carbohydrates, such as fruits and whole grains, is advised for people who have had cancer. However, being fearful of or restricting intake of certain foods that contain natural sugars is not necessary or healthful.

Here's an example: Should cancer survivors avoid eating oranges because they have natural sugar? For comparison's sake, let's consider that one medium orange contains 12 grams of sugar and a small donut contains 10 grams of sugar. The difference is that the orange also contains fiber and phytonutrients, both of which may play a role in fighting cancer, whereas the donut is just 200 empty calories, devoid of any potential nutritional benefit. Eliminating foods that contain sugar, such as fruits, is not wise for cancer survivors as this limits intake of cancer-fighting nutrients that are important for energy and overall health.

In fact, many cancer patients are led to believe they must follow a restricted sugar diet for fear of causing cancer growth in themselves if they do not adhere. This fear and rigidity often promotes a very stressful experience. The stress will actually lead to an increase in blood sugar as well as compromised immunity. These negative health effects are actually the exact opposite of the purported benefit of such a plan.

There may be a connection, however, between a diet high in refined, processed foods combined with a sedentary lifestyle that may lead a person to become overweight and eventually experience insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can cause an increase in blood levels of insulin and related compounds that may act as growth factors. The connection between body weight, insulin levels and cancer survivorship is currently being researched. In the meantime, becoming more physically active, striving to maintain a healthy weight and eating a plant-based diet including substituting refined sugars and white flour with whole grains and other unprocessed carbohydrates can all help to keep insulin levels in check and promote cancer survivorship.

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  • Posted

    I'm afraid that there is a lot we don't know about cancer.  What causes it?  Why does it happen in some families more than in others?  And more.  At home we ate healthy all the time,  very little what I call - added sugar. Yet cancer is rampant.  Yes, it's in the genes.  Also - there are a variety of cancers.  Some can be controlled with surgery, others spread like wildfire through the body.  So many angles to look at. 

    Of course watching what we're eating is a good thing.  But what can we do about the polution that comes to us by air, through the stuff we place in our homes etc.  through the very water that we drink.  To just name a few.   

    There is a lot that today's world has to seriously look into.  But is there the will to do so.  

    Better perhaps to take all a bit lightly and just do the best one can.  Stressing too much over all these things,as you said, will lower our immunity.  Just hoping that we can change some things by the choices we make.

    Good you bring this up Joy.  

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    • Posted

      Back in 1995 I attended a lecture on Pycnogenol which was just arriving in the U.S. from was a "HOT" new powerful antioxidant here....had been in France for some 40 yrs ...

      At the lecture we were told by the panel of researchers, "P" may prevent cancer....that was music to my ears

      No one wants to hear the "C" dx....I was 57 in 1995.....I have been taking "Pycnogenol and or Grape Seed Ex for 19 yrs and so far so good, I'm banking on it to get me thru the rest of my life.

      First thing to go were allergies and sinus issues much to my surprise...I have not taken a drug for these in 19 yrs.

      My son in law lost his life to lung "C" last year, he smoked close to 30 yrs and ignored a cough for MANY years, when he finally saw a doc it was too late, he was gone in 6 months, he was 55, it was a shock but again his bad habit caught up with him....

      Lifestyle changes can make a huge difference and nutrition I believe is key too.....that's where the sugar stuff comes in and I ate sugar stuff for the first half of my life, now I'm very aware and hoping the grape seed ex is doing a good job too.

      I don't stress over this but am more aware of mindful and make better choices now. I want to be as healthy as I can be for the rest of my years here.

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    • Posted

      It's called:  Growing old gracefully.  I think that's what you mean.  The Italians make a strong alcoholic drink - it's called Grappa.  It's made from the pits of the grapes.  But I wouldn't advise you to drink it. (ha)  

      Have to look into grape seed extract.  Heard about it earlier and than forgot about it. 

      One thing I would like to carefully note:  I doubt whether people always get cancer because of bad habits.  As healthy as my mother lived, she still got cancer, three strikes even.  Nothing came into our diet that was not healthy and good for you.  She set the standards for my life later.  Sweets were already then a rare occasion.  



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    • Posted

      aha ok...!! had heard of it...may even have tried it during a short stay in Greece many moons ago...well maybe i won't go for making that with my lovely grape seeds!!
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  • Posted

    very interesting discussion here as usual with you joy. thanks!

    my aim is for am trying to get into the organic pressed lemon juice am understanding is that Ca can't develop in an alkaline body. And that its as simple as that.

    its acidity which Ca loves ....acid forming foods are generally processed foods, any frying using industrial seed oils, and what else.....? Otherwise neutral or alkaline tending blood and body composition are immune from Ca. Easy !?

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    • Posted

      I squeeze fresh lemon in about everything....even squeeze drops in my 2 cups of organic coffee daily does not change the taste at all but keeps it more alkaline, coffee is acidic.

      Water is acidic and here in the U.S. a lot of higher pH water is available....I love the Volvic water and it comes from France and is pricey but so clean and alkaline as is Fiji Water....I buy both and some other brands too. My daughter and I love our alkaline waters.

      Those food charts I mentioned were eye openers on acid and our health.

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    • Posted

      oh now there I must disagree with you joy...first time in our love affair however!!!!!!!!!!

      If you take alkalised substances the body just works really hard to re-balance it. You stress the stomach, wherein, as you'll appreciate, HCL has a job to do. Alkalised water is not recommended by my go to resource on so many (but not all) matters.

      May I suggest you revert to pH neutral but flitered drinking water? Have you tried the fun one with the whirlpool spinner create the mountain stream effect. I enjoyed it for about a week ....!! Water spinner for sale !!!!

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    • Posted

      Marey, I don't overuse high pH water, as I do use spring water too that is neutral, not too high alakine but not totally acidic I think I get a good balance....

      No I never bought a water distiller, no room in my kitchen and just don't feel like messing with a distiller.....

      Hearing on my radio the other night from an author who is doing a series on The Truth About Cancer...and he definitely went to the sugar issue.

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