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Cancer Cells Love Fructose

The main source of fructose in the Western diet is HFCS. The corn-based sweetener has been on the market since about 1970 and now accounts for more than 40 percent of the caloric sweeteners added to foods and beverages.

HFCS is made by changing the sugar (glucose) in cornstarch to fructose. The end product is a combination of fructose and glucose. Because it extends the shelf life of processed foods and is cheaper than sugar, HFCS has become ubiquitous in many sodas, fruit-flavored drinks and other processed foods. Essentially, it seems to be in just about any food item that comes in a package.

“I think this paper has a lot of public health implications,” Heaney said. “Hopefully, at the federal level there will be some effort to step back on the amount of HFCS in our diets.”

Now the team hopes to develop a drug to stop tumor cells from making use of fructose. So…we need a drug to stop tumor cells from using fructose? Am I missing something? Wouldn’t it just be easier to stop the excessive use of refined fructose?

For more, see HFCS: That Sweet, Sweet Bully

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


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3:33PM PDT on Jul 10, 2012


9:20AM PDT on Jun 27, 2011

I agree with many of the other comments that this article needs clarification. Obviously, one shouldn't eat too much sugar of any kind - balance and moderation is important. Certainly avoiding refined or processed sugars, such as HFC, not to mention all artificial sweeteners, is a good idea.
There are plenty of "whole", unprocessed sugars available such as honey, and Rapadura sugar (Rapunzel brand) which are perfectly okay if used in small amounts. Whole fruits are also very healthy foods and contain naturally occurring fructose. I never heard of anyone getting cancer from eating the proverbial apple a day!

4:29PM PDT on May 19, 2011

Thank you!

1:08PM PST on Feb 28, 2011

meant to say sugar, used reasonably is NOT horrible for humans..just keep in fruit form or use date sugar.

1:07PM PST on Feb 28, 2011

Sugar is horrible for humans as we have a taste bud for sweet! Just eat your sugar in better forms: from actual fruit is best. Next would be date sugar. Saturated fats from animal foods and the excess casein in Dairy are your number sick makers...Go to this site: CHOOSEVEG.COM

11:35PM PST on Feb 27, 2011

Great point. I don't eat refined sugar anymore. I can't stand processed foods because of how I feel after.

9:04AM PST on Feb 25, 2011


8:23PM PST on Feb 22, 2011

By the way, fructose does not, and has never existed naturally. It does not exist in nature. So fructose is not safe, period!

6:34PM PDT on Oct 13, 2010

Thanks for the Info!

9:24AM PDT on Oct 11, 2010

Thank you! I am so glad I gave up soda years ago! no high fructose corn syrup for me!

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