A new study in mice unveiled that high levels of sugar commonly found in Western diets increases risk for breast cancer and metastasis to the lungs. Researchers from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center came to know that fructose encouraged breast tumor growth and helped it to spread.
It is not the first time when it has been found that dietary sugar has been linked to different types of cancer. There have been many studies earlier as well that have shown a connection between sugar and inflammation that can lead to cancer development. But no other study has investigated the direct impact of sugar consumption on the development of breast cancer using breast cancer animal models.
The current study has demonstrated dietary sugar’s effect on enzymatic signaling pathway known as 12-LOX (12-lipoxygenase). “We found that sucrose intake in mice comparable to levels of Western diets led to increased tumor growth and metastasis, when compared to a non-sugar starch diet. This was due, in part, to increased expression of 12-LOX and a related fatty acid called 12-HETE”, affirmed Peiying Yang, assistant professor of Palliative, Rehabilitation, and Integrative Medicine.
In the study, the researchers have assessed the impact of dietary sugar on mammary gland tumor development in mouse models along with other mechanisms involved. Study’s co-researcher Lorenzo Cohen, professor of Palliative, Rehabilitation, and Integrative Medicine, said that they have found that it is fructose especially, in table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, always present in food system, was responsible for encouraging lung metastasis and 12-HETE production in breast tumors.
Dietary sugar encourages 12-LOX signaling to increase the risks for breast cancer development and metastasis. The researchers have conducted four different studies in which mice were randomly divided into different diet groups and fed one of four diets.
The researchers clearly showed that sucrose- or a fructose-enriched diet increased the number of lung metastases and developed mammary tumors.
According to the UPI, Cohen said data from the study suggests either form of sugar induced 12-LOX and 12-HETE production in breast tumor cells, causing tumors to grow. He said, however, further research is needed to find whether sugar has a direct or indirect effect on tumor growth.
"Prior research has examined the role of sugar, especially glucose, and energy-based metabolic pathways in cancer development," said Dr. Peiying Yang, an assistant professor of palliative, rehabilitation, and integrative medicine at MD Anderson. "However, the inflammatory cascade may be an alternative route of studying sugar-driven carcinogenesis that warrants further study."
The MedicalxPress notes that, the high amounts of dietary sugar in the typical Western diet may increase the risk of breast cancer and metastasis to the lungs, according to a study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
The findings, published in the Jan. 1, 2016 online issue of Cancer Research, demonstrated dietary sugar's effect on an enzymatic signaling pathway known as 12-LOX (12-lipoxygenase).
In other news TODAY reported, tests in mice show a possible mechanism for how it happens. The findings, published in the journal Cancer Research, support studies that suggest people who consume more sugar have a higher risk of cancer— especially breast cancer.
"A lot of patients are told it doesn't matter what you eat after you are diagnosed with cancer. This preliminary animal research suggests that it does matter," said Lorenzo Cohen of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, who worked on the study.