Sweets linked to increased pancreatic cancer risk

June 17, 2010 in Nutrition Topics in the News

Sweets linked to increased pancreatic cancer risk
People with diets high in sweets and other foods that cause rapid blood-sugar spikes may have a higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer than those who eat less of those foods, according to new study findings.

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.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.