Results of a recent University of California study suggest that prostate cancer patients may want to avoid consuming high levels of fructose, as it can play a role in the growth of invasive tumors.
For years, scientists have known that the simple sugar glucose helps drive cell division in certain cancers, and have recommended that patients avoid foods that are rich in the compound. However, very few studies have investigated the role that fructose plays in cancer proliferation.
To do so, lead researcher Anthony Heaney and his colleagues from the university’s Jonsson Cancer Center introduced either fructose or glucose to petri dishes containing the malignant cells of pancreatic cancer tumors.
Although the cancer cells metabolized the two forms of sugar in very different ways, fructose and glucose both led to rapid cancer proliferation.
"The bottom line is the modern diet contains a lot of refined sugar including fructose and it’s a hidden danger implicated in a lot of modern diseases, such as obesity, diabetes and fatty liver," said Heaney.
"In this study, we show that cancers can use fructose just as readily as glucose to fuel their growth," he added.