Fruit Flies, Sugar and Your Cancer Risk

Sugar and cancer: it’s a hot topic these days and this week it made headlines again. A new study in fruit flies suggests that a high-sugar diet may explain why people with type 2 diabetes and obesity are at a higher risk for cancer.canstockphoto6419328

The study was published in Cell and here is the abstract. Basically, the study found that when fruit flies consumed a high-sugar diet it changes the signaling pathways of two human genes that can cause cancer called oncogenes, Ras and Src. That, in turn, caused tumor progression and metastasis.

Articles on the study have honed in on the dangers of a high-sugar diet for cancer risk, so we spoke with our nutrition advisor Karen Collins, a registered dietitian and expert on diabetes and cancer risk. Here, Karen talks about the study and says that when it comes to eating for lower cancer risk and good health, it’s not all about the sugar.

Q: This study focuses on metabolic disorders seen in type 2 diabetes and some cancers. Why is this important?
A: The research shows that people with type 2 diabetes and obesity are at increased risk of developing several cancers, such as postmenopausal breast and pancreatic. A metabolic environment in the body with inflammation and high levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factors is common to both type 2 diabetes and several types of cancer, and seems to be part of what promotes their development. Continue reading