Italian researchers found that among nearly 1,000 adults, those whose diets were high in so-called "glycemic index" showed a greater risk of pancreatic cancer than participants whose diets were relatively low-glycemic index.
Glycemic index refers to how rapidly a food causes blood sugar to rise. High-glycemic index foods, like white bread and potatoes, tend to cause a quick elevation in blood sugar, while low-glycemic index foods, such as lentils, soybeans, yogurt and many high-fiber grains, create a more gradual increase in blood sugar.
In the new study, researchers found no relationship between the total carbohydrates in participants' diets and their risk of pancreatic cancer.
As for fruit intake, a higher consumption was related to a lower risk of the disease.
They did however find a relationship between increased pancreatic cancer risk and higher intakes of sugar, candy, honey and jam, suggesting sugary, processed carbohydrates may be particularly linked to pancreatic cancer. The findings were reported in the Annals of Epidemiology.
The study comes less than 6 months after a similar study found a link between sugary sodas and pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer is a relatively uncommon but particularly dangerous form of cancer. Risk factors for the disease include smoking, obesity and diabetes. The Canadian Cancer Society estimates 4000 new cases of pancreatic cancer will be diagnosed in Canada in 2010. For more information of the disease, click here.
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