There are over 37 trillion cells in the average living person. Each cell is like a living organism. Each cell requires energy and must produce energy to carry out vital functions; that cellular energy is mainly created from the healthy metabolism and electron transfer of macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients from the foods that we eat.
Because the right type and balance of sugar molecules are necessary for cellular energy production, sugar consumption alone is not the cause of cancer. Likewise, a sugarless diet will not automatically eradicate cancer from the body. The breakdown of normal metabolic processes within the cell causes inflammation and is therefore the precursor to a host of chronic diseases, including the development of cancerous cells. The real link between sugar and cancer is the consumption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and over-consumption of refined sugars which causes the breakdown of healthy metabolic processes within the cell.
Natural sugars play a role in cellular energy production
However, cells need sugars, fats, and protein in order to create and store energy-rich molecules such as ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) for future use. These important macro-nutrients pass through the semi-permeable membrane of the cell. The composition of the cell membrane is important for attracting the right nutrients to the cell; therefore omega fatty acids are important for the development of healthy cell membranes. The ATP energy that is created in the cell is used to power metabolism and construct new cellular components. Enzymes use this energy to accelerate necessary chemical reactions within the cell.
In order to produce energy in eukaryotic cells, sugar molecules must go through a process of splitting. The first process for energy production is glycolysis, which requires an input of two ATP molecules. During this process, single molecules of glucose are split and converted into two molecules of pyruvate. After a series of chemical reactions, glycolysis generates four new ATP molecules and two NADH molecules, which are necessary electron carriers for other biochemical reactions in the cell. In essence, sugar doesn’t cause cancer. The inefficient metabolism of sugar within cellular processes results in increased oxidation of cells and inflammation – the precursor to chronic disease conditions.
HFCS and refined sugars rapidly over-consumed, misused by cells
The sugars that come from fruits and vegetables are structurally differently than refined sugars and chemically-produced sugars such as HFCS. The cells of the human body process these sugars differently.
Chemically-produced sugars, such as HFCS, are added to many store-bought food products and are pervasive in the standard American diet. High fructose corn syrup provides no nutritional benefit to the cells and is quickly converted to body fat. This excess body fat burdens the body by starving essential cells of nutrition and causing more oxidation and inflammation. To top it off, HFCS is structurally different than natural sugars. Traditional sucrose is 50 percent fructose and 50 percent sucrose. HFCS contains a ratio of 55 percent fructose to 45 percent glucose – a sucrose structure that isn’t metabolized normally by the cells. Due to corn subsidies, aggressive lobbying, cheap processing, and because fructose is sweeter, this chemical concoction is used throughout the food industry to addict people to food products. Consequentially, this sugar consumption causes obesity, Type-II diabetes, and initiates chronic diseases and cancer.
Refined sugars, processed from sugar cane and sugar beets, are an isolated form of nutrient-void sugars that also get added to a host of store-bought products. Permeating the standard American diet, these refined sugars are over-consumed and add no nutritional benefit to cellular metabolic processes.
When sugar is consumed from fruit and vegetable sources, it will naturally be utilized more properly within the cells. The fiber from these whole foods prevents the over-consumption of sugars and leads to more efficient use of sugar for energy production in the mitochondria of the cells. These whole foods deliver nutrients and prevent unwanted fat storage and wasted energy. This reduces oxidation and mitigates inflammation.
A person can consume less sugar, but the human body will not let blood glucose drop below a certain number. Without sugar coming in, the body will use its remaining resources to produce the glucose on its own; therefore, cancer cells cannot be starved of sugar. The real link between sugar consumption and cancer is inefficient production of ATP energy and the oxidation of the cells through inefficient waste removal. While it’s vitally important to adopt a lifestyle of fewer refined sugars and no HFCS, sugars should not be avoided altogether. The sugars from organic produce are an asset for healthy cellular functions.
Written by: Lance D Johnson