Scientists have finally identified how sugar feeds cancer in a new research paper which has been hailed as a ‘breakthrough’.
The study, explains why cancer cells rapidly break down sugars without producing much energy – a phenomenon discovered in 1920, dubbed the ‘Warburg effect’.
Until now, it hasn’t been clear whether the effect was a symptom of cancer, or a cause.
But a nine-year joint research project conducted by a coalition of Dutch universities has shown that sugar naturally connects with a gene called ‘ras’, which is essential to each cancer cell’s ability to survive.
This connection traps cancer so forcefully that cells are powerless to expel it, creating a ‘vicious cycle’ that stimulates the cancer and persistently metabolizes the sugar.