Aerated drinks, stuffed with sugar are the leading cause of obesity in the U.S.A. In fact, Credit Suisse Research Institute has revealed that over 40% of medical expenditure by U.S. citizens is for conditions related to excessive consumption of sugar. This amounts to nearly $1 trillion per year. Conditions being treated range from simple obesity to cancer.
The link between obesity and cancer is being accepted worldwide. Alternative medicine proponent, Dr Mercola says that a report on global cancer burden explains how nearly 500,000 cases of cancer worldwide are linked to obesity. North America and Europe report two-thirds of obesity related cancer cases in organs such as colon, ovary, etc. This number could increase to 670,000 in the UK alone in the coming 20 years.
In an attempt to restrict consumption of junk food, the UK Health Forum and Cancer Research UK are requesting for a ban of such product ads before 9 pm. Though the numbers vary, Germany also reports the highest health care expenses to treat conditions associated with overt oral consumption of sugar.
So how does sugar bring about cancer? Summarised in two words – it is the mitochondrial dysfunction, explains Dr Mercola. Sugar burns with more reactive oxygen species as compared to fat and leads to more free radicals. This causes DNA and mitochondrial damage as well as protein impairment and damage to the cell membrane.
According to the doctor, research has proven that chronic overeating could also lead to similar conditions. When you overeat on a regular basis, the endoplasmic reticulum in your mitochondria is stressed. The insulin receptor on the cell’s surface is dampened when the ER receives way too many nutrients beyond its processing capacity. Your body becomes insulin resistant which is also the base of many major illnesses. . This is why intermittent fasting can be a good way of avoiding insulin resistance.
Excessive consumption of refined sugar or fructose and not fasting at all could also lead to cancerous conditions. Research at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has shown that excessive fructose can not only lead to more estrogens production, a root cause behind breast cancer, but can also lead to the tumours spreading to other parts of the body. Corn syrup has been found to be the biggest culprit in this regard.
Dr. Otto Warburg, a German researcher found that cancer cells thrive on sugar and extra protein. Most researchers or physicians today do not keep this in mind. Nonetheless, a good way to curb the spreading of cancer, if you have been detected with insulin resistance would be to cut out all sources of sugar and grain carbohydrate from your daily diet.
Moreover, Dr Mercola goes on to suggest:
‘I recommend reducing your total fructose intake to a maximum of 25 grams/day, from all sources, including fruit. If you are insulin resistant, you’d do well to make your upper limit 15 grams/day’.
He suggests even tighter limits for cancer patients and says that reducing all non-fiber carbs should ideally be less than 100 gms a day. Some of his simple suggestions include limiting the sugar added to daily cups of coffee and tea, using fresh fruits instead of canned ones and so on.
With more awareness globally, people in the U.S. and in other countries are switching to low-carb, low-sugar diets. Though slow, dietary guidelines in the U.S. are also showing signs of positive changes.