In earlier studies which showed that sugar intake has an impact on breast cancer, the researchers concluded that the cause could have been because sugar helps increase inflammation. They assigned the mice to one of four diet groups which had sucrose and fructose in different amounts.
The mice were mainly fed sucrose, a key ingredient of table sugar and often added to fizzy drinks and juices as well as foods like processed meats, ketchup, pasta and pizza sauces, some snack foods and chocolate. When the animals turned six months old, 30% of mice on a starch-control diet had measurable tumours, whereas 50 to 58% of the mice on sucrose-enriched diets had developed mammary tumours.
This study also showed that cancers in mice on a high-fructose diet were more likely to spread than those on starch controlled diets.
“The current study investigated the impact of dietary sugar on mammary gland tumor development in multiple mouse models, along with mechanisms that may be involved”, said co-author Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D., professor of Palliative, Rehabilitation, and Integrative Medicine.
The study found that mice that were fed western diets with high sugar content had increased tumour growth and metastasis when compared to mice that were fed a non-sugar starch diet.
Dr. Farah Idrees who has also done her fellowship in Breast Cancer said that there are many misconceptions among general public like they consider it very fatal disease with severe pain and diagnosed at the terminal stage and this disease is of elder age group.
Given that the consumption of sugar in the US has grown to over 100 lbs. per year per person and given the fact that an increase in consumption of sugar has been linked to the obesity epidemic, and also heart disease, identifying sugar intake a risk factor for breast cancer comes as no surprise.
He explained that the incident indicated a possible signaling pathway, which is responsible for sugar-promoted tumor growth in mice. The data also suggested that increased dietary sugar consumption induces 12-LOX signalling that increases risks for the disease development and metastasis. They fed the rodents with sucrose intake comparable to levels of Western diets and found out that this high level of sugar intake led to higher cancer risks.