sugar

Hi everyone,

Has anyone heard about sugar is bad for cancer in other words it can actually feed cancer and make it grow, my husbund said when you have the dye put into you for your scan's it as got sugar in it which makes your insides glow so they can see what is happening and to look at the size of your tumours, also does anyone know if when you have a recurrence is it the same type of tumour that returns that you were diagnosed with each time?

sarah23

17 Replies

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  • Hi Sarah23,

    I know there is a theory that a high glycemic index can be inflamatory to cancer. It is a theory put forward in the 'anti-cancer' book. I am not sure how scientifically proven it is. However, I have cut out sugar in my coffee (now drink green tea) and only ocassionally have sweet treats.

    Good question about the tumours. I suspect your resistance to drugs infers there is something about new cancer that comes back, presumably it is no longer susceptible to previous drugs and therefore it must be fundamentally different - but I have no medical knowledge to confirm this.

    Love Lizzie

    X

  • Hi Sarah,

    The most readable explanation of the sugar/cancer relationship I can find online is at drheise.com/cancersugar.htm. It is much more complex than sugar=cancer, and includes, diet, exercise and stress levels which all contribute to the way your body and individual cells react.

    The point is that simple sugars (refined sucrose, corn syrup, etc)which are pretty ubiquitous, are dangerous for those of us who have had cancer, and it is wise to go for sugars in their raw state (in fruit and veg - as raw as possible) or substitute with the easily avaiable low sugar natural products like agarve nectar.

    It is true that many medical products have simple sugars in them and are therefore not desirable; however, a dose once in a while is unlikely to cause a problem. Think of it as getting the environment in your body healthy to stop cancer growing - so what you do every day is important - the odd lapse or one-off medication will not change that.

    It seems that a recurrence of ov.ca. has the same sort of cancer cells as the original tumour, so that although it seems impossible to get it after your ovaries are removed, it is the same type of tumour that appears elsewhere.

    I hope this helps to inform your decisions.

    Very best wishes,

    Isadora

  • The link did not work, so I'm pasting the info here:

    The Cancer-Sugar Connection

    Sugar Feeds Cancer

    The simple concept that "sugar feeds cancer" is often overlooked as part of a comprehensive support plan for cancer sufferers. Of over 4 million cancer patients being treated in the U.S. today, few are offered specific advice or guidelines for using optimum nutrition, beyond being told to "just eat good foods." Most cancer sufferers lack knowledge of what an optimal nutritional program is or how to implement it.

    Many cancer sufferers could have a major improvement in the outcome of their disease if cancer's preferred fuel, glucose, was controlled. Eliminating refined sugar and adopting an optimal whole foods diet combined with top quality nutritional supplements and exercise, may be critical components in recovering from cancer.

    Glucose: The Fuel of Cancer Cells

    Dr. Otto Warburg, Ph.D., a 1931 Nobel laureate in medicine, first discovered that cancer cells have a different energy metabolism compared to healthy cells. He found that malignant tumors frequently exhibit an increase in anaerobic “without air”) glycolysis -- an abnormal process whereby glucose is used as a primary fuel by cancer cells and which generates large amounts of lactic acid as a byproduct.1

    In contrast, normal cells predominantly undergo aerobic (“with air”) cellular metabolism. In cancer, the large increase in lactic acid generated by the cancer cells must be transported to the liver for metabolism and clearance. The lactic acid creates a lower, more acidic pH in cancerous tissues as well as overall physical fatigue from liver stress due to overworking to try to clear the lactic acid buildup.2,3 Consequently, larger tumors tend to have a more acidic pH.4 The goal is to return the body to aerobic metabolism as quickly as possible and to achieve an alkaline tissue pH (between 6.4 – 7.0). An alkaline environment is an unfavorable environment for cancer growth.

    Since the cancer cell’s metabolism, anerobic glycolysis, is very inefficient, extracting only about 5% of the available energy in the food supply and from the body's own calorie stores, the cancer, in effect, is "wasting" energy, so the cancer sufferer eventually becomes tired and undernourished. This vicious cycle increases body wasting – often in a downward spiral until death.5 This is one reason why almost 40% of cancer sufferers die from malnutrition (called cachexia or “wasting away”).6

    Do Glucose IVs Feed Cancer?

    In hospitals, the total parenteral (TPN) solution typically given to cancer patients intravenously provides 70% of the calories going into the bloodstream in the form of glucose. These high-glucose solutions for cachectic cancer patients may be a poor choice of I.V. nutrition and may in effect, be serving to feed the tumor. A more nutritionally balanced I.V. solution with low glucose levels in addition to a broad spectrum of nutrients such as amino acids, vitamins, minerals, lipids and co-factors, may be a much better choice and allow the patient to build strength and would not feed the tumor.7

    The best way to regulate blood-glucose levels in cancer sufferers may be the following:

    an optimal whole foods diet

    top quality nutritional supplements with a broad spectrum of anti-infective, immune-supportive phytonutrients,

    regular exercise and sunlight

    gradual weight loss (if overweight) and

    stress reduction. Professional nutritional guidance is crucial for cancer victims. The goal of nutrition therapy is not to eliminate all carbohydrates from the diet but eliminate all refined carbohydrates, and thus, control blood glucose within a narrow range to help starve the cancer and also bolster immune function.

    Blood Sugar Standards

    "Sugar" is a generic term used to identify simple and complex carbohydrates, which includes monosaccharides such as fructose, glucose and galactose; and disaccharides such as maltose and sucrose (white table sugar). The standards for blood sugar levels: a) less than 110 mg/dL is considered normal b) 111 to 125 mg/dL is considered to be impaired glucose tolerance and c) 26 mg glucose/dL blood or greater is considered to be diabetic (1997 American Diabetes Association blood-glucose standards).

    Excess Blood Sugar and Degeneration

    The diets of our ancestors which consisted of vegetables, lean meat, whole grains, nuts, seeds and fruits, is estimated to have promoted healthy blood glucose levels between 60 and 90 mg/dL.8 Today's typical diet high in refined sugar is promoting abnormally high blood sugar levels and unprecedented unhealthy effects in blood-sugar metabolism. Excess blood glucose can initiate yeast overgrowth, blood vessel deterioration, diabetes, heart disease, increased rate of infections and many other adverse health conditions.9

    Blood Sugar and Breast Cancer

    A mouse model of human breast cancer demonstrated that tumors are sensitive to blood glucose levels. Mice were injected with an aggressive strain of breast cancer, then fed diets to induce one of the following: high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), normal blood sugar or low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). The findings showed that the lower the blood glucose, the greater the survival rate.10,11 This suggests that reducing refined sugar intake is a key factor in slowing breast tumor growth.

    A large-scale epidemiological study of 21 modern countries that track morbidity and mortality (Europe, North America, Japan and others) revealed that sugar intake is a strong risk factor that contributes to higher breast cancer rates, particularly in older women.12

    Blood Sugar and Immune Cell Activity

    In an immune cell study, 10 healthy people were assessed for fasting blood-glucose levels and the phagocytic index of neutrophils, which measures the ability of immune cells to destroy invaders such as cancer. Eating 100 grams of carbohydrates from glucose, sucrose, honey and orange juice all significantly decreased the capacity of neutrophils to engulf bacteria. Starch did not have this effect.13

    In a 4-year research study at the National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection in the Netherlands, 111 cancer patients (with cancer of the biliary tract) were compared with 480 controls. Cancer risk associated with the intake of sugars, independent of other energy sources, more than doubled for the cancer patients.14

    The medical establishment may be missing the connection between sugar and its role in tumorigenesis. The PET scan, a million-dollar positive emission tomography device, is regarded as one of the ultimate cancer-detection tools. PET scans use radioactively-labeled glucose to detect sugar-hungry tumor cells. The more glucose that is detected at a site, the worse the tumor is becoming. PET scans are used to plot the progress of cancerous tumors and to assess whether present protocols are effective.15

    Kick the Sugar Out

    In Europe, the "sugar feeds cancer" concept is well known. Glucose has an irrefutable role in encouraging the growth and metastasis of cancer. Based on research and the cancer-sugar connection, the best dietary recommendation for those with cancer may be a whole foods, organic diet with includes more fresh, organic vegetables, but less sweet fruit (such as bananas, figs, dates, etc.) as well as eliminating all refined sugars, (such as fructose, sucrose,sorbitol, maltodextrin, etc.) including hidden refined sugars (found in foods not normally associated with containing sugar such as soups, breads, ketchup, etc.). This carefully planned regime may be an enormous help in regulating blood glucose and hence, improving immunity while selectively starving cancer cells.

    References

    1. Warburg O. On the origin of cancer cells. Science 1956 Feb;123:309-14.

    2. Volk T, et al. pH in human tumor xenografts: effect of intravenous administration of glucose. Br J Cancer 1993 Sep;68(3):492-500.

    3. Digirolamo M. Diet and cancer: markers, prevention and treatment. New York: Plenum Press; 1994. p 203.

    4. Leeper DB, et al. Effect of IV glucose versus combined IV. plus oral glucose on human tumor extracellular pH for potential sensitization to thermoradiotherapy.

    Int J Hyperthermia 1998 May-Jun;14(3):257-69.

    5. Rossi-Fanelli F, et al. Abnormal substrate metabolism and nutritional strategies in cancer management. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr 1991 Nov-Dec;15(6):680-3.

    6. Grant JP. Proper use and recognized role of TPN in the cancer patient. Nutrition 1990 Jul-Aug;6(4 Suppl):6S-7S, 10S

    7. American College of Physicians. Parenteral nutrition in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy. Ann Intern Med 1989 May;110(9):734.

    8. Brand-Miller J, et al. The glucose revolution. Newport (RI) Marlowe and Co.; 1999.

    9. Mooradian AD, et al. Glucotoxicity: potential mechanisms. Clin Geriatr Med 1999 May;15(2):255.

    10. Hoehn, SK, et al. Complex versus simple carbohydrates and mammary tumors in mice. Nutr Cancer 1979;1(3):27.

    11. Santisteban GA, et al. Glycemic modulation of tumor tolerance in a mouse model of breast cancer. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1985 Nov 15;132(3):1174-9.

    12. Seeley S. Diet and breast cancer: the possible connection with sugar consumption. Med Hypotheses 1983 Jul;11(3):319-27.

    13. Sanchez A, et al. Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis. Am J Clin Nutr 1973 Nov;26(11):1180-4.

    14. Moerman CJ, et al. Dietary sugar intake in the aetiology of biliary tract cancer. Int J Epidemiol 1993 Apr;22(2):207-14.

    15. Gatenby RA. Potential role of FDG-PET imaging in understanding tumor-host interaction. J Nucl Med 1995 May;36(5):893-9.

  • Hi Sarah, Lizzie and Isadora

    I have had the 'anti cancer' book for months and co-incidentally, decided to read it yesterday. I have got to page 130. I knew I would find it unsettling and I have.

    This is because a) it makes me feel as though I am responsible for my illness because of my lifestyle and

    b) that if I take on board its recommendations I will live what's left of my life frightened of lots of things.

    Yes I can drink green tea and stop taking sugar in my cuppa but, by the time you get to page 130 of 'anticancer' the rules get a lot more complicated. The list of bad things includes vegetable oil, too much omega 6, plastic packaging, fish at the top of the food chain and even the perfume I got for Christmas! My husband does very well to look after the family and work without me sending him out to find meat from grass fed animals and eggs from fodder fed hens.

    I can hear you all saying 'calm down woman!' But it is yet another example of cancer turning me into a freak and worrying the pants off me.

    Clearly I need a good talking to. Over to you Isadora!

    Sarah

  • Hi Twin,

    I know what you mean. I try to eat chicken and fish mostly now rather than red meat, but husband likes red meat so without us having to do 2 separate meals it makes me feel selfish. I try not to be mad about no red meat, but just try and suggest chicken or fish if he asks.

    I also went through the perfume thing. I have to confess to checking which ones are eau de toilette as I think the book gives those a green light.

    I guess the point is to try and feel you are helping yourself and thus have more control, rather than to stress yourself out about not following it religously.

    It is just sad that part of our treatment does not cover proper diet advice. I asked my oncologist about diet and he said there are theories but they are so hard to prove by isolating just one food component. His view is a balanced healthy diet with nothing in excess and no food group excluded is his recommendation. He said if I really wanted he could get me a paper from a letcure he want to the US about diet recently.

    Love Lizzie

    X

  • Thanks for understanding. After my rant I found some pomegranite juice in the fridge (past its use by date but..),drank that. Made myself an ommlette with parsley, cooked in olive oil. Well its a start!! I think I have got too much time to think and argue with myself. At least you are doing a bit of work which keeps you in touch with the real world.

    So sorry you are suffering with your bloating. I went through it before I was diagnosed and took to walking the streets at night so nobody saw me. Roll on the Caelyx.

    Love Sarah

  • Dear all

    Just to say I have calmed down after my rant earlier. Sorry about that. I am feeling a lot more sensible now and can probably do at least some of the things recommended in the dreaded book. Any ideas about what I should be feeding my chickens?!!

    Love Sarah

  • Big Hug Sarahxx

  • Hi Sarah23

    Thanks for asking the question. I have read about the sugar in 'the cancer book' and in articles on line, but thanks to Isadora for letting us have the information as it answers a few 'whys' that I had. I have tried cutting down on sugar intake, but failed miserably over Christmas. Have Manuka+12 on my porridge (supposedly an anti-inflammatory, but still sweet and probably not good). I Drink green and white tea, and add root ginger to take turmeric tablets! You get to wondering if it is all a waste of time! I find it difficult to 'give up' on milk, albeit I do usually have goats milk, which I am hoping is better than cows. Isadora, do you know the answer to this one? Wld be glad of answer if you do.

  • Goat's milk is slightly more digestible than cows, and is 'kinder' for those with compromised digestive systems. However, if you want to use cow milk and dairy products, do you have a source from organic, grass fed cattle? The factory farming of dairy cattle has led to changes in the milk produced which is often laden with chemicals and anti-biotics and has deliterious balances of omega 3 and 6 fats; those fed on grass and managed in an organic regime have the correct balances for our health. So, if you have a source like Riverford Organics (who grass feed their dairy cattle and keep them organically) in your area, stick to their dairy products. You need to check; not all organic farms keep the herd on grass. Organic goat's milk is better than factory farmed, too, for the same reasons.

    Hope that helps.

    I.

  • Thanks Isadora. I will check on organically kept cattle and goats in the area.

  • Hi Sarah

    I felt exactly the same way as you when I read the anti cancer book. I also go to the Penny Brohn centre and received advice from oncology and just felt so confused about the whole food issue. Oncology and Penny Brohn advise a balanced diet and PB also advise cutting back on a lot of things. I have tried to embrace and make sense of most of what I've learnt over the last year or so and have cut out sugar from a lot of my foods and get it naturally from fruits or honey. If I cook and need it, then it will be undyed, unrefined organic sugar. I no longer have any caffeine and have found Rooibos tea (especially Waitrose with vanilla or Sainsbury's with honey) to be simply lovely to drink. I have also cut out milk and drink rice milk now having spent a long time experimenting with all the alternatives. I can't quite give up cheese so that's my only dairy; again more organic goats cheese now though. We have become practically vegetarian but will eat meat on 1 or sometimes 2 days at the weekend. Read meat probably only once a month. My husband is quite happy with this actually but I am not working and so happy to experiment with foods more. I use a lot of things like garlic, turmuric and ginger in cooking.

    The one major change i guess has been to introduce more pulses like lentils and bulgar wheat into our diet. I didn't cook those much before cancer.

    A good vegetarian cookbook is well worth investing in. The McCartney 'Meat free Monday' one is possibly worth looking at?

    whilst mentioning the McCartneys - Stella's perfumes are all not simply 'not tested on animals' but all claim that none of the ingredients have been tested and are allegedly as 'organic' a perfume that you can get. I use the eau de toilettes and find that they are also beautiful...............

    I haven't found these changes too difficult as we always had 'non meat' days anyway and have an allotment so automatically have organic, fresh vegetables - but the whole food issue isn't an easy one to get your head around..

    I have acknowleged that my lifestyle prior to cancer probably weakened my immune system and that one of the ways to help keep it strong is through my diet.

    I hope this helps

    Good luck

    Eleni x

  • B****er it! Got quite a lot of lovely perfume for Christmas, so I will enjoy it. However, just a thought girls ....have any of you switched to using old-fashioned cleaning materials since having cancer? I have and try to use vinegar, borax, soda,beeswax polish etc etc. I have a wonderful old book about the uses of vinegar, they're still about in some bookshops, and also use my original Shirley Conran's "Superwoman" chapter on cleaning ...however I don't do any more than is necessary, as I read somewhere that over-cleaning compromises our immune systems ;-)I hate the lists of chemicals in commercial products, but still use non-bio washing powder ..haven't found a good enough alternative to that yet. Any ideas?

    Love, Wendy xx

  • Ladies, I have really enjoyed reading some of your very informative posts.

    Whilst I am a great believer in watching my diet, yes I was also told sugar feeds cancer. We use very litle sugar so when I make my bread and sugar is called for I use fructose. I avoid anything containing aspartame. I try and eat as much organic as I can. I wear bare minerals cosmetics but sorry the perfume I will not give in to. If I am not wearing perfume I don't feel as though I am dressed lol.

    The other thing I have had drilled into me by my Oncologist is to keep red meat to a minimum. Evidentially the proteins in red meat (think anything on 4 legs) are very hard to get rid of from the body, so his advice to me is just once a week. I stick to this almost religiously, unless on holiday then I will stray a little. We eat fish, it is amazing what can be done with chicken and even my husband, who loves read meat, is not missing it at all.

    I eat very little dairy as I am asthmatic, some say that is bad for people with cancer, I don't know. I won't drink soya milk as refined soya products are very bad for you, so I have small amounts of lactose free milk with my morning cereal. As I have never liked milk anyway, it really is a small amount of milk.

    Love Anna xx

  • So does nobody here eat chocolate?

    Even the anti-cancer book says dark chocolate > 75% cocoa can be positive.

    I love Green and Blacks Organic Chocolate > 85%

    Will the cancer ogre punish me?

  • So much fantastic advice............I think I have a sugar addiction....and try to cut it out then seem to have a binge...I know it's so bad for me......try not to buy it.(ie cakes/biscuits)....and after reading all this must try harder!!!!!!!!!

  • Lizzie, sorry to disappoint you but I don't eat chocolate, Being asthmatic I have an intolerance to dairy products, choc really gives me problems. I thankfully have developed a system that does not crave sweet things - unlike my hubby !!

    The problem is I can buy the biggest block of Cadburys Dairy Milk and eat the lot all in one go, but I then suffer so I have to be strong. Really that is about the only sweets or choc I would eat.

    Good luck with your 'addiction' Florence, a bit like giving up smoking I guess.

    Love Anna xx

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