High sucrose diet linked to increased risk in breast cancer

Researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have been studying how dietary sugar effects enzymatic signaling of the 12-LOX (12-lipooxygenase) pathway. The researchers found that mice who had sucrose intake similar to those found in Western diets lead to an increased risk of tumor development and metastasis. Specifically, they studied the impact of how sucrose influenced mammary gland tumor development in several mouse models.

This is the first study to investigate the direct effect of sugar consumption and how it relates to the development of breast cancer. The researchers believe that the mechanism by which the sugar effects tumor growth, the 12-LOX pathway, needs to be further studied.

I think this article is very interesting because I had never even thought of dietary sugar levels leading to cancer development. This is important as a pharmacist because we can make recommendations to patients to eat healthier or refer them to a dietician. If this data holds true in humans, it will be another great counseling point to make in order for our patients to eat less unnecessary sugar to improve overall health. My questions for the class are: Have you ever thought that excess dietary sugar could lead to cancer development? And, if the data translated to humans, do you think people would change their diet if they knew this information?



Yan Jiang, Yong Pan, Patrea R. Rhea, Lin Tan, Mihai Gagea, Lorenzo Cohen, Susan M. Fischer, and Peiying Yang. A Sucrose-Enriched Diet Promotes Tumorigenesis in Mammary Gland in Part through the 12-Lipoxygenase PathwayCancer Res, January 1, 2016 76:24-29 DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-14-3432

1 thought on “High sucrose diet linked to increased risk in breast cancer”

  1. This is a very interesting topic! I am not surprised that sugar was found to possibly contribute to the development of breast cancer. Excessive refined sugar is very toxic to our bodies, which is evidenced by the fact that eating a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates can lead to metabolic disorders such as diabetes. I am clearly not a nutrition expert, but it makes sense that too much sugar could contribute to things like cancer because of the way our bodies have to compensate for our rise in blood glucose after consuming a lot of sugar. If this data is found to be applicable in humans, I honestly do not think people would drastically cut out sugar to prevent cancer. Sugar is in so many things we consume in America! Something as simple as ketchup has much more sugar in it than most would probably think. Our country is addicted to sugar, and I don’t think people would be willing to drastically cut out sugar to reduce their risk of cancer. If you think about heart disease, we know that diets including ample saturated and trans fats increase a person’s risk for developing heart disease. How many people do you see refrain from eating hamburgers or fast food because they don’t want to get heart disease? Not many! I think research like this is great and helpful for the few who want to eat healthy diets and prevent diseases to the best of their ability, but overall I don’t think most people in our country will stop eating sugar if they found out it could increase their risk of cancer.

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