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By Lee Euler
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Cancer, Sugar, and the Devil
"Cancer cells use glucose as fuel."
So said German scientist Otto Warburg, Ph.D. back in 1931. He earned a Nobel Prize for his discovery. Now some new evidence suggests he knew what he was talking about.
Even before Dr. Warburg's discovery, Eskimos living in the Arctic Circle called cancer the "white man's disease", as it was virtually unknown to them.
Harvard-trained anthropologist Vilhjalmur Stefansson lived with these Eskimos for 10 winters (1906-1918) to document their lives and lifestyles. While there, Stefansson shared the typical Eskimo diet of almost-raw fish and blubber, supplemented by an occasional chunk of meat. There were no carbs, no vegetables, no fruits, no grains and no sugar. He and the Eskimos were lean, active, healthy — and cancer free.
But the tables started turning in the 1920s. As Eskimos began to adopt a Western diet, they started getting cancer, Stefansson noted in his 1960 report Cancer: A Disease of Civilization?1
First, an Alaskan Eskimo died of liver cancer in 1933… then a second Eskimo died of colon cancer in 1933 in Labrador. Since then, cancer death rates have steadily risen even in the frozen northlands.
Eighty years later, scientists are blaming cancer of the breast, gallbladder, prostate, colon, uterus, and pancreas on high sugar consumption. In fact, as you'll see in a moment, a top cancer doctor says that giving up sugar and getting your insulin levels down is a more effective cancer treatment than chemotherapy.
Researchers now think high sugar and, by extension, high insulin levels, actually encourage tumors to grow. That's what you'll hear from almost every reputable expert in alternative cancer treatment: Sugar feeds cancer.
Why Cancer's Preferred Fuel is Glucose
The concept of 'sugar feeds cancer' is simple. A deeper understanding of how it works is a bit more complex.
Dr. Warburg discovered that cancer cells have a different energy metabolism than healthy cells.
Essentially the tumor breaks down glucose, creating loads of lactic acid as an anaerobic (non-oxygenated) byproduct. The lactic acid travels to your liver, which converts it to lactate… which creates an acidic environment for cancer tissues. Experts say this lactic acid buildup is the cause of the overwhelming fatigue that accompanies cancer.
I might add that this metabolic process is totally inefficient. It expends a lot of energy producing more cancer cells, instead of providing energy for your well-being and normal function. It's so inefficient that only 5 percent of your food's available energy aids you. The other 95% perpetuates and grows the cancer.2
Yes, that's what I said: If you've got cancer and you consume sugar, 95% of it goes to feed the cancer cells and only 5% of it contributes to your well-being.
The cancer wastes so much energy and generates so much lactic acid, you become weary and undernourished. That's the biggest reason forty percent of all cancer patients die from malnutrition and not the cancer itself.
But wait… even before cancer sets in, consuming sugar can increase your risk of cancer.
So… Are YOU Addicted to Sugar?
If you're an average American, you consume two to three pounds of sugar every week! The U.S. average is now an astounding 158 pounds per person per year. And somebody else is eating my share, because I doubt if my annual consumption comes to more than 10 or 15 pounds, at most.
I've got a one-pound box of Domino's sugar that's been sitting in a kitchen cabinet for years, uneaten. It only comes out when guests want it in their coffee. And when I get a gift of candy at Christmas or Valentine's day, I thank the giver and then throw it out after they've left.
Sugar, in its many forms, lurks in almost every processed food. It's in bread, cereal, mayonnaise, peanut butter, ketchup, spaghetti sauce, salad dressings, and most if not all prepared, frozen, or microwaveable meals — and a zillion other things. And of course it's in soft drinks, sports drinks, and various other beverages. And many restaurant foods… and the list goes on.
I've said for years that sugar is the devil, even before I got interested in alternative cancer treatments. Sugar is an addictive drug, as far as I'm concerned. At any rate, it's addictive, and that's a fact.
If you don't think so, try giving it up for a couple of weeks. And I mean completely (no sugary ketchup, salad dressings, etc.) It's incredibly hard to do. I've largely weaned myself off it, but on those occasions when I do indulge, it's just about the most satisfying food on earth. I can understand how heroin addicts feel.
My name is Lee Euler, and I'm a sugar addict
When I was a little kid, once in a while I'd sneak a teaspoon of pure sugar right out of the sugar bowl. I've got a feeling I'm not the only one.
I don't allow pastries and ice cream in my home. Reason: If they're there, I'll eat them. And I'll love every bite. The only way to get a handle on the craving is to not have the stuff around. When I get the 10 PM craving for a snack, these treats aren't in the house.
These days, my secret vice is to allow myself dessert now and then if I'm dining out at a fine restaurant. If I'm going to be bad, I want it to be really good. And at least there won't be any at home to tempt to a second piece.
I need to add that if you've got cancer, you shouldn't have even a little sugar treat, ever.
Sugar shares so many characteristics with addictive drugs, it's remarkable that no one seems to notice. For example, it takes higher and higher intake to achieve the desired effect. Now that I'm "sober," if I sip a soda I have to spit the stuff out. It's so sweet I can't stand it. "Normal" people, however, drink gallons of the stuff and don't notice. Likewise for sweetened cereals and a whole range of other sweetened products. The non-users (all three of us) find the stuff inedible. Once you've broken the habit, your taste perception changes.
Keep in mind that sugar can take the form of sucrose (table sugar), dextrose (corn sugar), high fructose corn syrup, and more recently agave nectar syrup (extremely high in fructose), etc.
During the past 20 years, the amount of sugar the average American eats every year has gone up by 37 pounds. It increases nearly two pounds each year! The average consumption per person is now around 158 pounds. Hard to believe, but it's true according to the best figures my staff could find. We did check this out.
Before 1900 the average consumption was only three to five pounds per person, and cardiovascular disease and cancer were just about unknown. And, of course, so was obesity.
As a side note, a high complex-carbohydrate diet is nothing more than a high-glucose or high-sugar diet. Your body metabolizes it exactly the same way. White wheat flour, a complex carb, is just one step away from pure sugar. The body very quickly converts it to glucose and your blood sugar level shoots right up.
Together, wheat products and sugar make up a huge percentage of our total calories. I recently read that one-third of mankind's calories come from wheat.
Other Ways Sugar Ravages Your Health
Sugar is devastating to your health primarily because it raises your insulin level.
Insulin is a 'master' hormone made by your pancreas. It has a number of jobs to do in your system, but it's best known for controlling your blood sugar levels. The pancreas releases insulin into your blood continuously in tiny amounts. Immediately following a meal, your blood glucose level goes up and signals your pancreas to release more insulin.
Insulin transports the glucose into your cells to be used for energy or stored for future use.
Your cell's outer wall, or membrane, controls what enters and exits your cells. Insulin binds to receptors on your cell's membrane. That activates special transport molecules that allow glucose and proteins to enter your cells. Your cells then use that glucose for energy to carry out essential functions. Once the glucose is admitted to your cells, your blood glucose levels return to normal within hours.
However, if your pancreas can't keep up with the demand for insulin… or if your cells are insensitive to your insulin, your blood glucose levels spike and stay there. Not good for you!
This causes your cells to lose their energy source and they starve. That's why you may experience fatigue, infections, blurred eyesight, numbness, tingling in hands or legs, increased thirst, and slow healing of bruises or cuts.
Rapid fluctuations of blood-sugar levels stress your body beyond its healthy limits.
An influx of sugar into your bloodstream topples your blood-sugar balance and triggers insulin release, to keep your blood-sugar at a constant safe level.
Ongoing high insulin levels also promote weight gain. The sugars you can't burn collect as glycogen. But you can only store a certain amount of that. Once you hit the limit, the rest becomes fat.
So consuming high-sugar foods or beverages paves the way for rapid weight gain, high triglyceride levels… and cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
How Dangerous is Insulin Resistance Syndrome (Syndrome X)?
Your pancreas can't maintain abnormally high levels of insulin production forever. Once insulin production starts slowing down or resistance goes up, your blood sugar becomes chronically high and you have diabetes.
You may not have full-blown diabetes yet. But you could be predisposed to it. This condition is known as insulin resistance syndrome or Syndrome X. If you read much health information you've probably heard of Syndrome X. Symptoms include high insulin levels, low levels of "good" HDL cholesterol, excessive abdominal fat, high blood pressure, 'brain fog', sleepiness, and more.
If you have symptoms of syndrome X and want to prevent cancer (or diabetes or heart disease), you'll need to change your eating habits -- fast.
Sugar also devastates your immune system, which impacts your likelihood of getting cancer. But that's a subject for another newsletter.
Let me just point out here that sugar contributes absolutely nothing to your health and well-being.
It lacks vitamins, minerals and fiber, so it steals from your body's micronutrient stores to become metabolized. That in turn slows cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism, and leads to weight gain, higher triglycerides and higher cholesterol.
Sugars cause such massive endocrine disruption that the American Dietetic Association and American Diabetic Association peg it as one of the three major causes of all degenerative disease. (Emphasis mine.)
Want to Live to be 100? Just Control This…
Centenarians (those who live more than 100 years) have many differences.
But, they do share three consistent metabolic indicators:
The most important common denominator of these is insulin. Your level of insulin sensitivity is one of the all-time most important markers of lifespan.
Controlling your insulin levels is one of the most important anti-aging strategies you can possibly implement.
Insulin resistance is the basis of cancer — and other chronic diseases of aging like cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, obesity, diabetes…
Fortunately, it's also one of the easiest medical conditions to set right. You can do it yourself, at home, cheap, by making good dietary choices. You need to exchange grains for greens (greens in the broadest sense — fruits and vegetables).
And if you think I'm exaggerating the connections between sugar, insulin, and cancer, think again. . .
What Does Current Research Say About Insulin and Cancer?
Plenty — as it turns out. Emerging research implicates high insulin levels as a risk factor for breast cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, endometrial cancer, cervical cancer, and the super-deadly pancreatic cancer.3
One researcher investigating the affects of high insulin levels on prostate cancer risk made this astonishing statement:
"…The insulin effects are so big that I think if you had to choose between being thin and having a low insulin level, or having access to the best chemotherapy, you would be more likely to survive without chemotherapy," said study senior author Dr. Michael Pollak, professor of oncology at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.4
That's a pretty amazing statement, coming from a professor of mainstream cancer treatment. In effect, he's saying, "If you've got cancer and you have to choose between a low insulin level and chemotherapy, choose the low insulin level."
So to protect yourself and your loved ones from cancer, take this two-pronged frontal approach…
Let food and exercise be your medicine.
1Bennett, Connie, Sugar Shock, Berkley Books, New York, 2007. p. 217.
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