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Sugar and Cancer

There has been a lot of talk about sugar and cancer, and for good reason. It is an indisputable fact that cancer cells consume (i.e., metabolize) sugar- glucose- at a much faster rate than normal cells do. This is precisely how a PET scan works: first, you drink a glass of glucose, and then the scan detects where that glucose is being metabolized the fastest in your body. Those glucose “hot spots” are the areas in your body that are most likely cancerous. While researchers are still not clear whether a high-sugar diet causes cancer, what we do know is that once cancer cells are in your body, they consume anywhere from ten to fifty times more glucose than normal cells do. Therefore, it makes logical sense for cancer patients to cut as much refined sugar from their diets as possible, in order to avoid “feeding” their cancer cells, and instead rely on the glucose found naturally in vegetables and fruits. Knowing that the average American eats the equivalent of twenty-two teaspoons of sugar a day- when we should only eat six to nine teaspoons at most- means there is much room for improvement, whether or not we are currently dealing with cancer.

The take-home message is simple: cancer cells behave differently than healthy cells do, and one of the key differences is that they require lots of sugar in order to function. Therefore, cutting refined sugars out of your diet may be a key way to help “starve” a cancer cell.

Excerpted from the new book Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds by Kelly Turner, Ph. D. Available wherever books and ebooks are sold. For more information on Dr. Kelly Turner, visit


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