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Cancer’s Favorite Ingredient

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Cancer’s Favorite Ingredient

From Experience Life

The average American eats 70 grams of fructose per day — a number triple the recommended daily limit.

A study published last summer in Cancer Research shows that fructose is even more of a nutritional villain than previously suspected. More than any other kind of sugar, it appears to trigger cancer cells to divide and proliferate.

Researchers at the University of California–Los Angeles extracted pancreatic tumor cells from patients and grew the cells in petri dishes. They added glucose (another simple sugar long known to fuel the growth of cancer cells) to one dish and fructose to the other. The cancer cells used both glucose and fructose as fuel, but the fructose also activated the cellular pathway that drives cell division while triggering cellular activities that helped cancer cells rapidly metabolize both fructose and glucose.

The main source of fructose in the North American diet is high-fructose corn syrup and other refined sweeteners, such as sucrose, dextrose and maltose. U.S. consumption of high-fructose corn syrup alone shot up 1,000 percent between 1970 and 1990.

Today, the average American eats 70 grams of fructose per day — a number triple the recommended daily limit.

7 Tricks to Tame Your Sweet Tooth

The best way to limit fructose intake is to greatly reduce or eliminate processed foods and sweetened beverages from your diet. But you can further limit your total fructose intake by choosing fruits — like berries and stone fruits — that have lower fructose concentrations, and going easy on fruit juices and dried fruits, which deliver a lot of fructose per serving. Osteopathic physician and New York Times best-selling author Joseph Mercola, MD, suggests no more than 20 grams of fructose per day, with no more than 15 grams coming from fruit.

Next: Which fruit has the most fructose?

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Read more: Cancer, Diet & Nutrition, Food, Health

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Megan, selected from Experience Life

Experience Life magazine is an award-winning health and fitness publication that aims to empower people to live their best, most authentic lives, and challenges the conventions of hype, gimmicks and superficiality in favor of a discerning, whole-person perspective. Visit to learn more and to sign up for the Experience Life newsletter, or to subscribe to the print or digital version.


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9:10AM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

Interesting article, thank you!

3:09PM PDT on Aug 30, 2014


10:40AM PDT on Aug 25, 2014

I eat a lot of berries, all kinds, some pit fruit-- but always include a apple. Probably will continue to eat an apple, since I don't have a lot, if any, processed food on a daily basis. I read recently on Care2 that people that eat 5 apples a week have better lung function and I like that since I'm active. Thanks, Megan.

1:13AM PDT on Aug 25, 2014


1:47PM PDT on Aug 24, 2014

I'm so confused, what ever happened to the good old adage of "An Apple a Day, helps keep the Doctor away"??...Now I find out that a research team at UCLA has determined that Fructose is even more VILLAINOUS than previously believed, and my beloved APPLE is one fruits with the highest FRUCTOSE content???
WHAT can we still eat without having to worry about the detrimental effect on our HEALTH???

9:27AM PDT on Aug 24, 2014

Thank you :)

5:06PM PDT on Aug 21, 2014

thank you

6:34PM PDT on Aug 17, 2014

Agreed, Robert B, fruit is healthy and wonderful to eat. Certainly, a lot healthier than the highly processed sugar treats that are sold out there.

Have been enjoying a lot of peaches recently, one of my favourite fruits.

2:54PM PDT on Aug 17, 2014

This article almost seems to be insinuating that natural fructose is the same as high fructose corn syrup and as bad as refined sugar, which is not the case. True, diabetics have to watch out when eating fruits with high fructose content and should stay away from fruit juices. But for the rest of us eating a natural fruit is much different and healthier than eating REFINED sugars.

9:33PM PDT on Aug 14, 2014

Thank you for info.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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