Cancers genetic link to sugar is unveiled by scientists

Cancers genetic link to sugar is unveiled by scientists

We know that cancer cells needs 10 times more sugar to grow than normal cells but now scientists have shown exactly how this mechanism works.

“Previously we were unsure about how increased blood sugar found in diabetes and obesity could increase cancer risk.  This study identifies a key molecular mechanism through which high blood glucose would predispose to cancer”
Colin Goding, Professor of Oncology at the University of Oxford, UK.

“We were surprised to realise that changes in our metabolism caused by dietary sugar impact on our cancer risk.  We are now investigating what other dietary components may influence our cancer risk.  Changing diet is one of easiest prevention strategies that can potentially save a lot of suffering and money”
Dr Custodia Garcia-Jimenez at the University Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid.

They have found that high sugar levels increase activity of a gene widely implicated in cancer progression.  These researchers studied how cells in the intestine respond to sugars and signal to the pancreas to release insulin.  Sugars in the intestine trigger cells to release a hormone called GIP that enhances insulin release by the pancreas.

The scientists showed that the ability of the intestinal cells to secrete GIP is controlled by a protein called beta-catenin.  Beta-catenin is strictly dependent on sugar levels. 

Beta-catenin can change normal cells and make them immortal, so they do not stop growing. 

This is a key step in cancer progression. 

This shows that increased activity of beta-catenin is a major factor in the development of many cancers. 

Basically said, high sugar levels induce the nuclear accumulation of beta-catenin and lead to cell proliferation, cancer progression and cancer growth. 

Study published in Molecular Cell, February 2013, by scientists led by Dr Custodia Garcia-Jimenez at the University Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid.  As reported by The Times of India on February 3, 2013.

Posted: Sunday 17 February 2013

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