- Diabetic Gourmet Magazine - https://diabeticgourmet.com -

Blood Sugar: A Piece in the Cancer Risk Puzzle

A major new study has added to evidence suggesting that high blood sugar and problems in sugar metabolism may increase cancer risk. The link between high blood sugar and cancer is not new. We don’t know whether risk comes from high blood sugar itself or from the elevated insulin levels that generally develop with it, which can lead to type 2 diabetes.

The latest research suggests that high blood sugar may increase cancer risk even before diabetes develops. Either way, since studies show that lifestyle dramatically lowers the risk of high blood sugar developing into diabetes, healthy eating and exercise offer the double benefit of reducing risk of diabetes and some types of cancer.

In the recent study, published in March, researchers found that women with the highest blood sugar showed a 26 percent increase in overall cancer risk compared to those with the lowest blood sugar. Overall cancer risk in men was not affected. In both men and women, however, the study confirmed an association between high blood sugar and increased pancreatic, kidney and urinary tract cancers, along with a doubled risk of melanoma.

The study spanned 13 years and followed more than 64,000 Swedish people. Blood sugar was measured after eight hours of fasting. Other studies have shown an increased cancer risk linked to type 2 diabetes. But this study found an increased cancer risk with pre-diabetics – people with smaller blood sugar elevations – as well as diabetics. High blood sugar is often related to overweight, but the link to cancer here was independent of weight. This is one of many studies investigating cancer risk as it relates to blood sugar and diabetes.

Researchers say that we could probably reduce the risk of cancer linked to high blood sugar by following the same recommendations for preventing diabetes: maintain a healthy weight, get regular activity and eat a healthy diet, filled with fruits, vegetables and fiber, and scarce on saturated fat.