According to a new study, sugary eating habits are linked to an increased chance of breast cancer.
The findings were published in the online issue of Cancer Research.
Researchers gave groups of mice four different diets and found that at 6 months old, rodents eating the largest amount of sucrose were more susceptible to cancerous lumps on their mammary glands.
The group of mice on a sucrose-enriched diet ate about 37 teaspoons of sugary substances. This is an amount comparable to the typical American diet. Sucrose is a popular ingredient found in sugary cereals and soda that can also be listed as high fructose corn syrup.
Between 58 – 60% of mice on sucrose-enriched diets developed the tumors. Conversely, less than 13 of the mice on starch-controlled diets had breast cancer.
Additionally, the mice on a sucrose-rich diet were at an increased risk of cancer spreading to their lungs in comparison to the mice on a starch-control diet.
These results are due in part to increase expression of 12-LOX and a related fatty aide called 12-HETE.
Previous research has drawn a link between higher sugar intake and breast cancer development. Some studies suggested inflammation as a source, but the current study looked at the role of sugar in mammary gland tumor development.
Researchers believe that the mechanism by which dietary sucrose or fructose affects breast tumor growth and metastasis warrants further investigation.
Identifying risk factors for breast cancer is a public health priority.
Researchers assert that moderate sugar consumption is critical. The per capita consumption of sugar in the United States is more than 100 pounds of sugar per year. Increased consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is a significant contributor to the worldwide epidemics of obesity, heart disease and cancer.