High amounts of dietary sugar in the typical Western diet may increase the risk of breast cancer and metastasis to the lungs. (Representational Image)
Higher sugar intake not only increases the risks of diabetes and obesity but can also cause breast and lung cancer, according to a new study.
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center researchers found that a sugary diet is more likely to lead to breast cancer development with inflammation of the mammary gland as the cause.
According to a study, high amounts of dietary sugar in the typical Western diet may increase the risk of breast cancer and metastasis to the lungs.
The study investigated the impact of sugar on mammary gland tumor development on mice.
Researchers conducted four different studies in which mice were randomised to different groups and fed one of four diets. According to the study, at six months old, 30 per cent of mice on a starch-control diet had measurable tumors, whereas 50 to 58 per cent of the mice on sucrose-enriched diets had developed mammary tumors.
Researchers say that numbers of lung metastases were significantly higher in mice on the sucrose- or a fructose-enriched diet, versus mice on the starch-control diet.
"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," said Peiying Yang, PhD, assistant professor of Palliative, Rehabilitation, and Integrative Medicine.
"This was due, in part, to increased expression of 12-LOX and a related fatty acid called 12-HETE. We determined that it was specifically fructose, in table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, ubiquitous within our food system, which was responsible for facilitating lung metastasis and 12-HETE production in breast tumors," said co-author Lorenzo Cohen.
Researchers said previous studies have also shown that dietary sugar intake has an impact on breast cancer development.
"Moderate sugar consumption is critical, given that the per capita consumption of sugar in the U.S. has surged to over 100 lbs. per year and an increase in consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has been identified as a significant contributor to an epidemic of obesity, heart disease and cancer worldwide," researchers said.