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CANCER SUGAR

A VERY COMMON FORM OF SWEETENER HELPS SOME CANCER CELLS GROW, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Fructose is a type of sugar found naturally in fruits, but is also one component of so-called ‘high fructose corn syrup,’ a very common food sweetener that has been fingered as one major cause of our current obesity and diabetes epidemics.  While evidence to indict fructose is gathered, one study of pancreas cancer cells shows that indeed, these cells get a boost from fructose.  William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, explains.

NELSON: What this experiment has done is very clearly shown that fructose can be used by pancreas cancer cells in a culture dish as fuel for their growth, in contrast to when the other sugar, glucose is used, it enables these cells to produce the precursors for RNA, one of the blueprint kinds of components for cells, more directly.  So, it endows these pancreas cancer cells not only with the ability to grow but the ability to do so by making more RNA and perhaps more DNA, the blueprint for the cell.   :31

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey..


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