#Sugar #Cancer #Biolayne
A new study on a cohort of over 100,000 people concluded that sugar intake was associated with all cause cancer incidence. the unique thing about this study was that they ‘controlled for weight gain.’ Many anti-sugar zealots have sent this to me as ‘proof’ that sugar causes cancer.
Not so fast my friends =). If you read the ACTUAL study and not just the title/conclusions you find that there was only an association with cancer when comparing the highest quartile of sugar intake to the lowest quartile of sugar intake. But there was no difference amongst any other quartile, even up to 70g of sugar per day was not associated with an increase in cancer risk.
Further, while the authors said they controlled for weight gain, if you examine the dietary intake, the difference in calorie intake between the highest and lowest quartile of sugar intake was nearly 700 kcal/d greater in the high sugar quartile… that is A HUGE confounding variable that was not adequately explained by the researchers explaining how they could ‘correct’ for weight gain given the difference in calorie intake.
Additionally, the association with cancer with sugar was completely driven by breast cancer alone. When breast cancer was removed, there was no association between sugar and all other cancers. Specifically amongst breast cancer incidence, there was only an association of sugar intake with breast cancer in pre-menopausal women. This small sub-group drove the entire correlation with ‘all cause cancer incidence.’
Finally, sucrose (table sugar) was the sugar most closely associated with cancer incidence in breast cancer, but glucose & fructose were NOT associated with breast cancer. Sucrose is made of glucose & fructose. If it was truly CAUSING breast cancer, then theoretically one or both of glucose & fructose should have also shown the same correlation. But they did not.
TLDR: This study in no way ‘proves’ that sugar causes cancer.
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