This habit could significantly be adding to your risk of developing cancer.
Sugar is a natural ingredient that has always been part of the human diet. Carbohydrates comprising sugars and starches are broken down in the body into glucose. Sugars are an important source of energy with glucose being the most important for the body.
Some sugars are found naturally in foods (e.g. fruit, vegetables and milk) while others are used during processing and cooking
New research has confirmed that processed sugar is the driving force behind growth and spread of cancer tumors. The mechanistic paradigm explaining the relationship between carbohydrates and cancer risk has been contested by numerous observational studies. (1) (2)
Clinical and epidemiological studies suggest a strong association between SSB intake and obesity and T2DM. (4)
Consumption of SSBs was positively associated with mortality primarily through CVD mortality and showed a graded association with dose. The positive association between high intake levels of ASBs and total and CVD mortality observed among women requires further confirmation. (5)
Research showed that sugar has been found to produce more symptoms than is required to be considered an addictive substance. Animal data has shown significant overlap between the consumption of added sugars and drug-like effects, including bingeing, craving, tolerance, withdrawal, cross-sensitisation, cross-tolerance, cross-dependence, reward and opioid effects.
Sugar addiction seems to be dependence to the natural endogenous opioids that get released upon sugar intake. In both animals and humans, the evidence in the literature shows substantial parallels and overlap between drugs of abuse and sugar, from the standpoint of brain neurochemistry as well as behavior. (6)
Available evidence in humans shows that sugar and sweetness can induce reward and craving that are comparable in magnitude to those induced by addictive drugs.(7)
Food addiction is a plausible etiological factor contributing to the heterogeneous condition and phenotype of obesity. In at least a subset of vulnerable individuals, high-glycemic-index carbohydrates trigger addiction-like neurochemical and behavioral responses. (8)
The neurochemical changes and neural adaptations including changes in the dopaminergic system that influence emotion and behavior following sugar consumption. (9)
1. Maino Vieytes CA, Taha HM, Burton-Obanla AA, Douglas KG, Arthur AE. Carbohydrate Nutrition and the Risk of Cancer. Curr Nutr Rep. 2019 Sep;8(3):230-239. doi: 10.1007/s13668-019-0264-3. PMID: 30895469; PMCID: PMC6660575.
2. Makarem N, Bandera EV, Nicholson JM, Parekh N. Consumption of Sugars, Sugary Foods, and Sugary Beverages in Relation to Cancer Risk: A Systematic Review of Longitudinal Studies. Annu Rev Nutr. 2018 Aug 21;38:17-39. doi: 10.1146/annurev-nutr-082117-051805. Epub 2018 May 25. PMID: 29801420.
4. Yoshida Y, Simoes EJ. Sugar-Sweetened Beverage, Obesity, and Type 2 Diabetes in Children and Adolescents: Policies, Taxation, and Programs. Curr Diab Rep. 2018 Apr 18;18(6):31. doi: 10.1007/s11892-018-1004-6. PMID: 29671076; PMCID: PMC6025796.
5. Malik VS, Li Y, Pan A, De Koning L, Schernhammer E, Willett WC, Hu FB. Long-Term Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened and Artificially Sweetened Beverages and Risk of Mortality in US Adults. Circulation. 2019 Apr 30;139(18):2113-2125. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.118.037401. PMID: 30882235; PMCID: PMC6488380.
6. DiNicolantonio JJ, O’Keefe JH, Wilson WL. Sugar addiction: is it real? A narrative review. Br J Sports Med. 2018 Jul;52(14):910-913. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2017-097971. Epub 2017 Aug 23. PMID: 28835408.
7. Ahmed SH, Guillem K, Vandaele Y. Sugar addiction: pushing the drug-sugar analogy to the limit. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2013 Jul;16(4):434-9. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e328361c8b8. PMID: 23719144.
8. Lennerz B, Lennerz JK. Food Addiction, High-Glycemic-Index Carbohydrates, and Obesity. Clin Chem. 2018 Jan;64(1):64-71. doi: 10.1373/clinchem.2017.273532. Epub 2017 Nov 20. PMID: 29158252; PMCID: PMC5912158.
9. Jacques A, Chaaya N, Beecher K, Ali SA, Belmer A, Bartlett S. The impact of sugar consumption on stress driven, emotional and addictive behaviors. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2019 Aug;103:178-199. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.05.021. Epub 2019 May 21. PMID: 31125634.