Sunday February 23, 2020

Here’s How Sugar Relates to Cancer

How sugar relates to cancer

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Here are details about all you need to know about how sugar relates to cancer. Pixabay

Its commonly heard that sugar causes cancer or makes it grow faster. In some ways, this makes sense. Every cell in your body uses blood sugar (glucose) for energy, including cancer cells. But cancer cells consume about 200 times more sugary items than normal cells. They need huge amounts of sugar to fuel their rapid growth.

Dr. Niranjan Naik, Director, Surgical Oncology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram gives you the details about all you need to know about how sugar relates to cancer.

However, there is no strong evidence that directly links sugary food to increased cancer risk, yet there is an indirect link. Eating sugar doesn’t necessarily lead to cancer. Consuming too many calories containing sweetners may result in weight gain.

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Consuming too many calories containing sugar may result in weight gain. Pixabay

Being overweight or obese puts you at a higher risk for cancer and other lifestyle diseases. Obesity is considered as a risk factor for development of cancers of breast, large bowel, esophagus (food pipe), pancreas, kidney, liver, upper stomach (gastric cardia), gallbladder, ovary, uterus, thyroid, myeloma (type of blood cancer), and meningioma (which is a type of tumor of brain).

Experts, including American Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute, do not think sugary food can cause cancer. They say the real culprit is obesity. Fat cells release inflammatory proteins called adipokines. They can damage DNA and eventually cause tumors. The fatter cells you have, the more of these proteins you’re likely to have. Being overweight or obese puts you at risk for at least 13 types of cancers including breast, liver and colon cancer. In fact, obesity is the biggest preventable cause of cancer second to that of smoking.

Some cancers may start due to high levels of insulin, the hormone that controls the amount of sugar in the blood. Insulin levels in blood depends on level of sugars in the blood. Fat cells also increase the level of female hormone, estrogen. After the menopause, this hormone made by fat cells can make cells divide faster in the breasts and uterus, thereby increasing the risk of cancer.

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Even though sugar does not cause cancer directly, it’s still a good idea to eat less sugar. Pixabay

Even though sugar does not cause cancer directly, it’s still a good idea to eat less sugar. Research says you should restrict for a maximum of 6 teaspoons a day for women and 9 teaspoons for men. But most people consume about 22 teaspoons per day in different forms. That’s 130 pounds of sugar each year.

There’s no evidence that following a low-carb or a sugars-free diet lowers the risk of getting cancer, or boosts the chances of surviving if you are diagnosed. Following restricted diets with intake of very low amount of carbohydrate could damage health in the long term by eliminating foods that are good sources of fiber and essential vitamins. This is particularly important for cancer patients, as some treatments may result in weight loss and put the body under a lot of stress. Poor nutrition received from restrictive diets can affect the recovery, or even be life-threatening. For patients to recover, it is essential to get adequate nutrition for helping their bodies cope with treatment.

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Although avoiding sugars won’t stop cancer, one can reduce the risk of getting cancer by making healthy lifestyle choices. Do regular exercise, lower the amount of added sugars in your diet and maintain a healthy body weight. (IANS)

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Young Mothers are More Prone To Have Mental Health Problems: Study

Almost 40 per cent of young moms have more than one mental health issue, including depression, a range of anxiety disorders and hyperactivity

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The study said identifying and treating mental health issues in young mothers is especially important as their health also affects the wellbeing of their children. Pixabay

Researchers have found that two out of three young mothers have at least one mental health issue.

The study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, found that teen mothers have a much higher prevalence of mental health challenges than mothers aged 21 and older and teens who aren’t parents.

Almost 40 per cent of young moms have more than one mental health issue, including depression, a range of anxiety disorders and hyperactivity.

This is up to four times higher than in mothers aged 21 years or older and teens without children, the researchers said,

“Now that we understand that young mothers can struggle with problems other than just postpartum depression, our findings can be used to develop better screening processes, more effectively detect mental health problems in teenaged mothers, and direct treatment,” said study researcher Ryan Van Lieshout from McMaster University in Canada.

For the findings, Between 2012 and 2015, the Young Mothers Health Study recruited 450 mothers aged younger than 21 years old and 100 comparison mothers aged older than 20 years old at the time of their first delivery. The moms were from Hamilton, Niagara, Haldimand-Norfolk, and Brant counties.

This study is the one of the first in the world to use diagnostic interviews to examine a range of mental health problems beyond postpartum depression.

“Structured diagnostic interviews are the gold standard for this kind of research. We’re glad to have used this method to talk to hundreds of young mothers about their experiences,” said study lead author Van Lieshout.

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Researchers have found that two out of three young mothers have at least one mental health issue. Pixabay

Age-matched young mothers were also compared with 15 to 17-year-old women without children from the 2014 Ontario Child Health Study who were assessed for mental disorders, the researchers said.

The study said identifying and treating mental health issues in young mothers is especially important as their health also affects the wellbeing of their children.

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“Young mothers can face a great deal of adversity both before and after becoming a parent, yet next-to-nothing has been known about the rates and types of significant mental health problems among these women in our community,” Lieshout said. (IANS)