(Mirror Daily, United States) – A breakthrough nine-year study has found a dangerous connection between sugar and the development of cancer cells. Researchers discovered how these cells were more active when it came to the synthesis of sugar, and were able to link excessive consumption of the substance to a more rapid and aggressive growth of tumors.
Is sugar related to cancer development?
Some time ago, researchers noticed a correlation between sugar and cancer cell growth. They called it the Warburg effect, and it consisted of cancerous cells quickly synthesizing sugars. However, they couldn’t tell if this happened as an effect of the disease, or if sugar influenced the malignant cells. After nine years of intense study, they managed to find out glucose stimulated the growth of tumors.
The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, compared the activity of both cancer cells and healthy cells when it came to turning the substance into lactate. This is how they found out the direct link between excessive sugar consumption and a hyperactivity of the cancer cells.
An yeast model offered valuable insight in the evolution of cancer
To reach these conclusions, researchers made great use of yeast cells. These cells contain a type of protein called Ras, which is also found very often in tumors. In fact, this protein is responsible with triggering mutations which later on turn into cancer. Therefore, researchers performed the tests on yeast cells, and analyzed the effect sugar had on the development of Ras proteins.
Researchers were surprised to observe how this mechanism remained mostly intact throughout the entire evolution process from yeast to a more complex life form. The findings are important, as they can offer new perspectives on cancer and its rapid evolution. Moreover, they might also help doctors find better diets for patients, and explore new ways to combat the quick development of the illness.
Image Source: Flickr
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