Sugar in fizzy drinks and junk food increases chances of breast cancer and its spread to other organs, scientists claim
- Mice fed high sugar diet developed breast cancer, which also spread more
- US study claims that common Western food and drink is dangerous
- Mice fed sugary food for 6 months had breast cancer in 50-58% of cases
US academics fed mice a sugar-rich Western diet and claim they found increased levels of tumour growth in the breast and more potential for that cancer to spread to the lungs.
The mice were mainly fed sucrose, a key ingredient of table sugar and often added to fizzy drinks and juices as well as foods like processed meats, ketchup and pasta sauces as well as some crisps and chocolate.
Mice given non-sugar diets richer in starch were less likely to develop cancer, the scientists involved say.
Study: Sugar found in sweetened food and drinks led to increased cases of breast cancer in mice, scientists have said
Scientists at the University of Texas gave groups of mice one of four different diets and found that at six months old more than half of mice fed a sucrose-enriched diet had developed breast cancer.
Study: Mice fed sugar developed cancer more often than those who were fed starch for six months, academics said
The study, published in the online edition of the Cancer Research journal, also showed that cancers in mice on a fructose diet - commonly found in fruit and drinks - were more likely to spread.
Co-author Dr Peiying Yang said that she believed this was the first study to investigate the direct effect of sugar consumption and effect on the development of breast cancer.
She added: 'We found that sucrose intake in mice comparable to levels of Western diets led to increased tumour growth and metastasis, when compared to a non-sugar starch diet.'
Both authors said that identifying the risk factors for breast cancer was a public health priority.
Per capita consumption of sugar in the UK is now 35 kilos per year.
The increase in consumption of sugar-rich drinks has been routinely identified as a key factor in the rise of obesity, heart disease and cancer across the world.
It has led to calls
One of the authors of the study, Professor Lorenzo Cohen, said: 'This study suggests that dietary sucrose or fructose induced production in breast tumour cells.
'This indicates a possible signalling pathway responsible for sugar-promoted tumour growth in mice'.
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