(OrganicJar) Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah have uncovered new information that sugar “feeds” tumors. The findings may also have implications for other diseases such as diabetes. The research is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“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.
The research, spearheaded by Mohan Kaadige, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in Ayer’s lab, focused on MondoA, a protein that is responsible for turning genes on and off. In the presence of glutamine, MondoA blocks the expression of a gene called TXNIP. TXNIP is thought to be a tumor suppressor, but when it’s blocked by MondoA , it allows cells to take up glucose, which in turn drives tumor growth. Ayer’s research could lead to new drugs that would target glutamine utilization, or target MondoA or TXNIP.
Ayer says the next step in his research is to develop animal models to test his ideas about how MondoA and TXNIP control cell growth. “If we can understand that, we can break the cycle of glucose utilization which could be beneficial in the treatment of cancer,” Ayer says.
I think its important to remember that all of us have cancer right now, but our immune system fights it off. That’s why diet is so important, we all must keep our immune system running at 100%. I think we can also agree that we know sugar isn’t good for us, our tongue loves it, but our body doesn’t. So why would we consume something that ‘feeds’ the very thing most of us fear the most?
Where are we getting all this sugar? If I had to guess it’d be soda pop. Think about this…if sugar is proven to feed cancer, and the number of Americans with cancer increases every year, could there be a link regarding soda and cancer? Here are some scary statistics and something to think about.
- Soda pop is basically liquid sugar .
- More than a quarter of all drinks consumed in the United States are soda.
- Americans drink an average of 1.6 cans of soda pop every day.
- 80% of schools have soda vending machines.
- 56% of 8-year-olds down soft drinks daily, and 1/3 of teenagers drink at least 3 cans of soda pop per day.
- Carbonated soda pop provides more added sugar in a typical 2-year-old toddler’s diet than cookies, candies and ice cream combined.
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