Coach Alicia Fong

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Health tip for week Dec 20th

Today, I learned that sugar feeds cancer cells.  Perhaps, many people already know this but it’s a new revelation for me and I like to share this information with you all.

I search the Internet for sugar and cancer and I found lots of articles and cautions about sugar feeding cancer.  What I found most surprising is that since doctors are not nutritionists, they do not know the dangers of eating sugar, and are not providing you with the tools to prevent or fight the disease. This is scary.

Sugar and hormones

It is true that sugar feeds cancer.  “It’s been known since 1923 that tumor cells use a lot more glucose than normal cells. Our research helps show how this process takes place, and how it might be stopped to control tumor growth,” says Don Ayer, Ph.D., a Huntsman Cancer Institute investigator and professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences at the University of Utah.

During both normal and cancerous cell growth, a cellular process takes place that involves both glucose (sugar) and glutamine (an amino acid). Glucose and glutamine are both essential for cell growth, and it was long assumed they operated independently, but Ayer’s research shows they are inter-dependent. He discovered that by restricting glutamine availability, glucose utilization is also stopped. “Essentially, if you don’t have glutamine, the cell is short circuited due to a lack of glucose, which halts the growth of the tumor cell” Ayer says.

But it is not as simple as curing cancer by cutting out all sugar. Sugar feeds every cell in the body, including cancer cells. However, it is more complex, involving hormones such as insulin and insulin-like growth factor. The body releases these and other hormones that promote cell growth in response to a rise in blood sugar. These growth-promoting hormones are the real problem for people living with cancer.

Good sugars and bad sugars

Why does sugar take the rap when hormones are really the problem? Sugar does cause the body to release growth-promoting hormones, but that is not the whole story. Sugar is very important to life. However, just as there are good fats and bad fats, there are good sugars and bad sugars.

Bad sugars, often referred to as simple sugars, are those in foods that do not offer any other nutritional benefit. Examples of simple sugars include foods like soda, sweets, sugar cereals, juice drinks, and grains.

Good sugars, or complex carbohydrates, are present in foods that provide nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. Examples of complex carbohydrates include foods like fruit, vegetables and beans.

So what can we do to reduce our chance of getting cancer or if you already have cancer?

1) Reduce simple sugar intake

Simple sugars enter the bloodstream quickly and cause a rise in insulin and other growth-promoting hormones. Research shows that high levels of these hormones may increase the growth of cancer cells. The key to reducing these hormones is reducing your intake of simple sugars. Complex carbohydrates do not affect insulin the same as simple sugars, and thousands of research studies have shown that they actually reduce the risk of cancer.

2) Increase consumption of complex carbohydrates

By substituting complex carbohydrates for simple sugars in your diet, you can reduce your risk of cancer and other chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.

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December 20, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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