Does Sugar Cause Cancer?

Does Sugar Cause Cancer?

It’s common knowledge that sugar is not the best thing for our health. It has been linked to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. But what about cancer? There have been numerous claims that sugar causes cancer or fuels cancer growth. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the evidence and scientific studies surrounding the link between sugar and cancer. Let’s separate fact from fiction and explore the true connection between sugar and cancer.

#Sugar #Cancer #Biolayne


A new study on a cohort of over 100,000 people concluded that sugar intake was associated with all cause cancer incidence. the unique thing about this study was that they ‘controlled for weight gain.’ Many anti-sugar zealots have sent this to me as ‘proof’ that sugar causes cancer.

Not so fast my friends =). If you read the ACTUAL study and not just the title/conclusions you find that there was only an association with cancer when comparing the highest quartile of sugar intake to the lowest quartile of sugar intake. But there was no difference amongst any other quartile, even up to 70g of sugar per day was not associated with an increase in cancer risk.

Further, while the authors said they controlled for weight gain, if you examine the dietary intake, the difference in calorie intake between the highest and lowest quartile of sugar intake was nearly 700 kcal/d greater in the high sugar quartile… that is A HUGE confounding variable that was not adequately explained by the researchers explaining how they could ‘correct’ for weight gain given the difference in calorie intake.

Additionally, the association with cancer with sugar was completely driven by breast cancer alone. When breast cancer was removed, there was no association between sugar and all other cancers. Specifically amongst breast cancer incidence, there was only an association of sugar intake with breast cancer in pre-menopausal women. This small sub-group drove the entire correlation with ‘all cause cancer incidence.’

Finally, sucrose (table sugar) was the sugar most closely associated with cancer incidence in breast cancer, but glucose & fructose were NOT associated with breast cancer. Sucrose is made of glucose & fructose. If it was truly CAUSING breast cancer, then theoretically one or both of glucose & fructose should have also shown the same correlation. But they did not.

TLDR: This study in no way ‘proves’ that sugar causes cancer.

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Sugar is one of the most commonly consumed sweeteners all over the world. It is used in a wide variety of dishes, beverages, and snacks, and it is often considered a staple ingredient in most desserts. However, there have been some claims that sugar causes cancer. This article aims to explore the scientific evidence behind this statement and provide you with a deeper understanding of the role of sugar in cancer.

What is Cancer?

Cancer is a disease characterized by the abnormal growth of cells in the body, which can lead to the formation of tumors or the invasion of nearby tissues. There are many different types of cancer, including breast cancer, lung cancer, and colon cancer, each with different symptoms, treatments, and outcomes.

Sugar and Cancer

The relationship between sugar and cancer has been a topic of debate for many years. Some people believe that an excess intake of sugar can cause cancer, while others argue that this claim is not supported by scientific evidence. The following sections explore the different perspectives on this topic.

How Sugar Affects the Body

Sugar is a type of carbohydrate that provides the body with energy. When we consume sugar, our body breaks it down into glucose, which is then absorbed into the bloodstream. This triggers the release of insulin, a hormone that helps transport the glucose to our cells, where it can be used as fuel.

However, excess sugar intake can lead to a variety of health problems, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and tooth decay. When we consume too much sugar, our body converts the excess glucose into fat, which can accumulate in our bodies and increase our risk of developing these conditions.

Sugar and Cancer: The Argument Against

Some people believe that sugar causes cancer because cancer cells rely on glucose for energy. The logic behind this argument is that consuming sugar will increase the amount of glucose in our bloodstream, providing cancer cells with the energy they need to grow and multiply.

However, there is currently no direct evidence to support this claim. While it is true that cancer cells use glucose for energy, so do healthy cells in our body. Therefore, even if we were to cut off our sugar intake completely, cancer cells would still be able to obtain glucose from other sources in the body.

Sugar and Cancer: The Argument For

While there is no direct evidence to suggest that sugar causes cancer, some researchers believe that there is an indirect link between sugar intake and cancer risk. One theory is that excess sugar consumption can lead to obesity, which is a known risk factor for cancer.

Additionally, certain types of cancer, such as pancreatic cancer, have been associated with a high intake of sugar-sweetened beverages. These drinks not only increase our sugar and calorie intake but also contain harmful additives such as high fructose corn syrup, which has been linked to an increased risk of several health problems.


In conclusion, while there is no direct evidence to support the claim that sugar causes cancer, there are still many good reasons to limit our sugar intake. Consuming too much sugar can lead to a variety of health problems, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, all of which are known risk factors for cancer. Therefore, it is important to be mindful of our sugar consumption and opt for healthier alternatives whenever possible.


  1. Can sugar feed cancer cells?
    • While it is true that cancer cells rely on glucose for energy, so do healthy cells in our body. Therefore, cutting off sugar intake completely would not necessarily starve cancer cells of the energy they need to grow and multiply.
  2. Does sugar cause cancer to spread faster?
    • There is currently no direct evidence to support this claim. While excess sugar consumption could potentially increase cancer risk indirectly by leading to obesity, there is no evidence to suggest that sugar can cause cancer to spread faster.
  3. What are some healthy alternatives to sugar?
    • Some healthy alternatives to sugar include stevia, monk fruit, honey, and maple syrup.
  4. How much sugar should we consume daily?
    • According to the American Heart Association, men should consume no more than 36 grams of sugar per day, while women should consume no more than 25 grams per day.
  5. Can sugar increase the risk of other health problems?
    • Yes, consuming too much sugar can increase the risk of several health problems, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and tooth decay.