With Halloween behind us and Thanksgiving, Christmas, and more to come, I want to discuss sugar in today’s newsletter. While sugar may not be inherently bad, too much of it along with consuming refined versions of sugar can wreak havoc within the body. Sugar consumption in the United States has risen dramatically over the last 100 years or so. In 1822, the average American ate the amount of sugar found in one of today's 12-ounce sodas every 5 days. Now, we eat that much every 7 hours.
As sugar consumption has risen, so too have the rates of diabetes, heart disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cognitive diseases, and cancer (source). When it comes to cancer in particular, sugar is one of the "fuels to the fire" that we have all of our patients significantly reduce. This includes anything that, when digested, is broken down into sugar (glucose). For example, most grains like rice, pasta, and bread.
Why? Because cancer feeds on sugar. Cancer cells have significantly more insulin (sugar) receptors than normal cells. When we dramatically reduce the sugar consumed by our cancer patients, we begin to "starve" the cancer cell. We then utilize a treatment known as Insulin Potentiation Therapy (IPT) to deliver low-dose chemo to the cancer cells. This treatment can be particularly effective because the low-dose chemotherapy is delivered along with insulin.
As the cancer cells are "starving" for food, they rush to consume the insulin and, as a result, consume more of the chemotherapy compared to conventional chemo. You can learn more about IPT through our Youtube video with Dr. Suzanne Kim.
For those of you who may not have cancer, I encourage you to carry out your own research on the effects of too much sugar consumption. For my readers who do have cancer, I understand how difficult it can be to explain the changes you are making in your diet and lifestyle. We always strive to educate patients not just on the what of their treatments, but also the why.
When you understand the basic science behind the changes you are making, it can help you implement them with more resolve as well as feel more confident in communicating the reason behind these changes to family and friends.
Your Partner in Health,
Dr. Leigh Erin Connealy
P.S.S. Also,I'm excited to announce that our Be Perfectly Healthy Podcast will be launching this Friday, November 6th.