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Cancer News: Fructose intake may up pancreatic cancer risk

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By David Liu, PHD

Tuesday May 1, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- A review article in Annals of Oncology suggests that eating too much fructose may drastically increase risk of developing pancreatic cancer, one of most lethal malignancies.

Pancreatic cancer or pancreatic carcinoma is expected to be diagnosed in about 44,000 men and women in the United States in 2012, according to the National Cancer Institute.  The disease will kill about 37,000 patients this year in the country.

The study led by D. Aune of School of Public Health, Imperial College, London and colleagues found that each additional 25 grams of fructose per day was associated with 22 percent increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

The association was derived from a meta-analysis of data from 13 studies and the researchers also found other carbohydrates such as starch, sucrose (table sugar or beet sugar), glycemic index and glycemic load were not associated with the risk of pancreatic cancer.

Fructose is found high in high fructose corn syrup, which is commonly used in processed food and beverages or soda.  Studies have suggested that intake of fructose may help increase risk of obesity and contribute to the obesity epidemic in the United States.

In addition to obesity, high fructose intake has also been associated with increased de novo lipogenesis in the liver, increased plasma triglycerides, and insulin resistance. 

M.B. Vos and colleagues of Emory University, Atlanta reported in 2008 in Medscae Journal of Medicine that U.S. teens aged 12 to 18 ate 72.8 grams of fructose per day or 12.1 percent of total claories.

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