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Fructose and pancreatic cancer

2010-08-04 17:53:33.01052+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center: Pancreatic cancer cells grow more quickly using fructose than glucose:

“Traditionally, glucose and fructose have been considered as interchangeable monosaccharide substrates that are similarly metabolized, and little attention has been given to sugars other than glucose,” the study states. “However, fructose intake has increased dramatically in recent decades and cellular uptake of glucose and fructose uses distinct transporters ... these findings show that cancer cells can readily metabolize fructose to increase proliferation. They have major significance for cancer patients, given dietary refined fructose consumption.”

This being used to demonize high fructose corn syrup, but those of you paying attention at home would also recognize agave nectar as mostly fructose.

[ related topics: Health Physiology ]

comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: disaccharide made: 2010-08-09 14:45:28.715226+00 by: Dan Lyke

Thanks, yeah, the "too soon" comment in that debunking article is way apropos.

I did see something that made claims on the disaccharide vs the two separate molecules, but in searching for it now I'm only pulling up the pseudo-science sites.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-08-09 13:29:56.415226+00 by: m

The HFCS "causes" pancreatic cancer myth is debunked at


There are a couple of minor errors in the critique, but nothing that affects the conclusions that the original paper was hyperoverhyped at best.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-08-06 17:51:51.808046+00 by: m

High fructose corn syrup comes in three varieties. HFCS 42 (42% fructose 58% glucose) and HFCS 55 (55% fructose 45% glucose) are used as commercial sweeteners. HFCS 90 (90% fructose 10% glucose) is primarily used to up titrate HFCS 42 to HFCS 55. Fructose is 1.7 times sweeter than sucrose, and about 2.5 times sweeter than glucose.

Sucrose is a disaccharide composed of a glucose molecule combined with a fructose molecule. Almost immediately upon ingestion, sucrose is split into 50% glucose and 50% fructose -- less fructose than HFCS 42, and not so different than HFCS 55. Honey is a composite of a variety of sugars including glucose and fructose. Typically there is about 25% more fructose than glucose -- a higher percentage of fructose than found in HFCS 55.

Sugar fads come and go. During the early 1980s 100% fructose was was used in some diabetics in the hope that glucose metabolism would be controlled while allowing the patients to use a true saccharide for flavoring. A few studies indicated potential problems with liver disease and glaucoma, and the trials were stopped.

It seems reasonable that because HFCS 55, HFCS 42, honey and sucrose have roughly the same range of fructose present, that they would have roughly the same fructose safety. Excess dietary sugar is to be avoided for a variety of reasons, but for myself I am not concerned about the percentage of fructose present in any of these sweeteners.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-08-04 19:19:27.856064+00 by: Larry Burton

From my reading on the subject there seems to be little wrong with fructose when used with moderation. The problem with HFCS isn't so much the HFCS itself but the extent that it is used in everything that the majority of Americans partake of in their diet. Agave nectar is great for use as a sweetner, especially for those who are diabetic, but we shouldn't be consuming a lot of sweetners, regardless of their fructose or glucose makeup.