Sugar molecules on the surface of cells change their characteristics during development of cancer. Normal cells, as shown on the left, typically have long chains of sugar molecules (illustrated by circles filled with different colours and with the protein, that the chains are attached to, illustrated as a black line) that end in our blod type antigen like ABO. Cancer cells, on the contrary, often have truncated, immature chains of sugar molecules, as shown on the right.
Credit: University of Copenhagen
In co-operation with a research group from Singapore, scientists at University of Copenhagen have shown that immature sugar molecules in the form of truncated O-glycans aid growth properties of cancer cells. Previously, scientists have not been able to decode the significance of these truncated O-glycans, and therefore, the results, which were recently published in the journal PNAS, represent an important contribution to understanding the growth of cancer cells as well as the work towards developing a cure that can limit or stop the growth.
Catharina Steentoft, PhD student at Copenhagen Center for Glycomics and one of the scientists behind the results, stresses that this is basic science and there is still a long way from the results to actually developing a treatment or using them for diagnostic purposes. The results are still a cause for optimism, though.
“This is part of how we will proceed in the battle against cancer. When you know a certain process is important for the development of cancer you can start to consider ways to affect this process in a way that stops the cancer cell from taking advantage of it,” explains Catharina Steentoft.
Sugar molecules affect proteins
Sugar molecules play an important role in almost all of the processes taking place in the body. One of the ways in which sugar molecules affect us is through glycosylation, a process where sugar molecules are attached to proteins. The proteins are basically the building bricks of the body, whilst sugar molecules affect the proteins, and therefore play a significant role in the human organism. A flaw in a chain of sugar molecules can lead to protein malfunctioning and disease.
As early as 1982, scientists around the world realised the importance of sugar molecules for cancer. The American doctor and scientist Georg F. Springer discovered that a certain type of sugar molecules, the truncated O-glycans, were particularly prominent in cancer cells. The discovery of Catharina Steentoft and colleagues builds on the foundation of this knowledge.
Pinpointing ways to proceed
For 30 years, scientists all over the world have worked on using the truncated O-glycans as biomarkers for diagnostics and outcome-prediction, but now the group of researchers from Singapore and Copenhagen has finally pinpointed the significance of these sugar molecules — that they actually cause the cancer cells to grow and the cancer to spread more aggressively.
“We have now taken the first step towards understanding how cancer cells can change their glycosylation and produce these truncated O-glycans. It is a rather big step forward since it gives us an entirely new understanding of something we have worked many years to grasp. It guides our entire field of research towards new ways to proceed in the battle against cancer,” Catharina Steentoft says.
- D. J. Gill, K. M. Tham, J. Chia, S. C. Wang, C. Steentoft, H. Clausen, E. A. Bard-Chapeau, F. A. Bard. Initiation of GalNAc-type O-glycosylation in the endoplasmic reticulum promotes cancer cell invasiveness.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013; 110 (34): E3152 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1305269110
First realize that even without being diagnosed with cancer, we all have at least a few cancerous cells floating around in our “inner terrain”. A decent immune system residing in a slightly alkaline or neutral pH inner terrain is able to fend them off and keep them from colonizing into tumorous masses.
On the other hand, those who indulge primarily in the SAD (Standard American Diet), which includes lots of factory farmed meat and junk foods saturated with refined sugars or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which processed foods use even with their non-sweet products to keep you addicted, along with all those refined carbs in refined grain baked products, are adding fuel (literally) to the fire of cancer.
Mainstream oncology ignores this 1930s Nobel Prize discovery by Otto Warburg, aka the “Warburg Effect”: When normal cells begin to lack oxygen respiration to utilize glucose and nutrients metabolically for cellular energy, they depend on fermenting sugar to thrive without oxygen and become cancerous.
Instead oncologists administer chemo IV therapies while giving their patients ice cream and cookies as the poison is injected into them. Big profits from the treatment and selling those toxic drugs at a profit also. “Cancer cells consume sugar about 19x faster than healthy cells.” – Dr. Murray Susser, MD
Mainstream medicine refuses to look into diet as a function of potential metabolic dysfunction that helps promote and maintain cancer while asserting genetic disposition as a primary cause of cancer.
Their hubris and incredible profits thrive from toxic interventions such as chemotherapy and radiation. The first concern with preventing or eliminating cancer should be what you put into your body. That gives you control over cancer.
It’s a no-brainer when it comes to avoiding sodas, juices with added sugars, pastries, candies, and processed foods that use processed grains and even add sugar or HFCS to foods that are not even sweet. That’s to keep you addicted even if you can’t taste it. Refined sugar is actually addictive, some claim it’s even as addictive as cocaine.
A Recent Study That Makes Sugar Carcinogenic
But now it’s even worse. Green Med Info has uncovered a study that seems to be hidden from the public eye and is certainly not welcome within our orthodox oncology system. It would cramp the food and soda business’s profits if refined sugar is seen as carcinogenic.
The study, “Increased sugar uptake promotes oncogenesis via EPAC/RAP1 and O-GlcNAc pathways” was published in the 2013-2014 Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI). Because it is a free access journal, you can access the full text, not just the abstract, here.
I wonder how come this study hasn’t made much of a stir in our sick-care system since it is so accessible. Instead it was dug up by a research scout for Green Med Info.
It is of course full of biochemical details, which is what medical people are supposed to be familiar with. So for now, let’s be content with a layman’s summary report of their study, which was an in vitro (cultures, petri dishes, and test tubes) study as opposed to an in vivo (animal or human) study. This way they could really play around with and analyze the results with total control.
Here’s the bottom line of this study: Increased glucose uptake leads to early phases of cancer cell creation while curbing glucose intake reversed cancerous cells into normal cells. In other words, sugar is carcinogenic as well as fodder for already existing cancer cells.
For more info-
Serving Size : 4
1/2 heads organic cauliflower
1 whole onion — diced
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon garlic granules
1/2 tablespoon thyme
salt and pepper
Sauté onion in butter until golden.
Place florets in bowl of food processor in batches. Process until evenly chopped but not completely pulverized.
Remove rice to a large bowl and continue processing florets in batches until all florets are “riced”.
Heat butter in pan over medium high heat and add cauliflower rice. Fry it, with onions, garlic powder, thyme, salt and pepper for about 4 or 5 minutes, stirring gently, often to keep it from sticking.
Everything in moderation—it seems like such a good idea. It “feels” right because it promotes the idea of a balanced approach to nutrition in a nice, neat, simple saying. But does it help us or hurt us?
Let’s look at the term moderation, which is defined as: restraint; avoidance of extremes or excesses; temperance. Is this really how most people act out moderation with nutrition?
For many people, moderation looks like this:
- Day 1: A doughnut at the office
- Day 2: A low-fat pastry with their “coffee” (meaning a couple shots of espresso in a heated milkshake of ingredients)
- Day 3: Pizza night
- Day 4: Cupcakes at the birthday party at the office
- Day 5: A handful of chocolates from the candy dish
- Day 6: A couple glasses of wine at a wine and cheese party
- Day 7: Hot wings and a couple beers watching the game with friends
It’s been more than a week since this person had that doughnut, so those wings and beers a week later “feels” like moderation. But it isn’t. When you are eating something from the same category of non-health foods once day, it’s not a treat—it’s a habit. And your body is built on your habits. Having any type of junk food once a day isn’t moderation, it’s a lifestyle.
Superfoods and Supervillians
There’s this relatively modern concept of “superfoods,” but there’s really no such thing. For most of human history, food was just food. There have been no newly discovered foods that act like nutritional superheroes in our bodies. Yes, kale is healthy, but it is healthy in the standard ways our bodies expect and it’s always been healthy. It hasn’t become “Kale the Superfood” in the last decade. Healthy food should be our normal. It’s not super; it is what is expected.
In contrast, on the junk-food side of things, there are countless new and sometimes very distorted freaky foods that act like “supervillains” in our bodies. There are no superheroes in the world of food—just a lot of very good but ordinary people, along with a number of supervillains. It takes a lot of work and time by a lot of good, ordinary people to fight the destruction caused by just a few supervillains. While everything in the ”healthy” category is normal, in the ”unhealthy” category, most foods have significant, powerful, deleterious effects that are not solved simply by eating healthy food at the next meal.
The major problem is that there are all kinds of weird “food” products (they might be edible, but they aren’t really food) with harmful chemicals, sugars, and fats that can disrupt your physiology. And the resulting dietary imbalances rapidly generate inflammation and a kind of hormonal static that can take weeks or months to clear.
If you eat healthfully most of the day, but have a treat each day, you’re actually creating an imbalance. And this leads to another problem.
I’ve Been Good, Now I Can Be Bad
When you feel like a saint, the idea of self-indulgence doesn’t feel wrong. It feels right—like you earned it. “Moral licensing” is a dangerous phenomenon. When you do something good, you feel good about yourself. This means you’re more likely to trust your impulses, which often means giving yourself permission to do something bad. If you tell yourself that you’re “good” when you eat healthfully and “bad” when you don’t, then you’re more likely to eat junk tomorrow if you ate good food today.
We need to stop self-judging our morals based on our food choices—it destroys our ability to have a healthy relationship with food. If you eat a healthful food, you are getting more healthful—you are neither a good nor bad person.
It’s Not Just You
I have learned too much about how the brain and body work, and coached too many people over the years, to accept “everything in moderation” as a workable concept. Like any overly simplistic attempt to reduce a complex aspect of human physiology to a simple rule, it just does not work for the majority of people.
And the continued belief in outdated, ill-conceived concepts like this one results in massive psychological damage to people struggling to find health: If it’s so simple, yet elusive for you, there must be something wrong with you. The lack of progress can get internalized as a personal flaw when it is really a conceptual flaw arising from simplifying something that just isn’t that simple.
What it all boils down to: We need copious amounts of healthy food and a small amount of food with little to no value. Moderation as it is commonly used will result in moderately unhealthy people instead of thriving people.
Each day we walk through a world that presents us with dozens or even hundreds of temptations and visual triggers for junk foods. We can’t escape seeing it and the constant visual stimuli can weaken our resolve. If we only eat an unhealthy food once instead of the other 99 times we’ve come across it every day, it may “feel” like moderation, but your physiology works the way it works. Consuming junk food daily—which is not moderate, by definition—erodes health and counteracts many of the other healthy choices (like exercising) you may be making on a regular basis.
This post is a guest post written by Jonathan Ross that originally appeared on ACEFitness.org. Named the 2010 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, Ross serves as ACE senior consultant for personal training.
I posted this week about the nutritional benefits of microgreens. They contain 4 to 10 times the nutrition as sprouts or their full grown versions.
Many people suggest that you use them in salads or to cook with. I think the best way of using them are in smoothies. You can eat more of them and you are not exposing them to heat. They are easy to grow yourself in the kitchen window or for families, under grow lights.
I will begin selling trays of these microgreens soon by making them available for delivery on the Meal Delivery Service. Look for the addition to the weekly menu in your email.
Every eggplant recipe I’ve ever encountered has instructed me to salt the big purple fruit before cooking to “draw out bitter compounds,” but it turns out that’s not really necessary.
According to Epicurious, this thinking is leftover from a time when eggplants were much more bitter than what you’ll find in the store today; the bitterness has been bred out of them.
Full disclosure: I’ve only ever salted eggplant once before I’ve cooked it, the first time I cooked it. I had never tasted a difference between salted and not, but it’s nice to have my sloth validated.
By Jessica DeCostole, RDN
First came the popular trend of baby spinach and kale, and now the world is turning its attention to even younger seeds called microgreens—the first shoots of leafy plants that are less than 14 days old. You may have spotted them at your local farmers market or caught a celebrity chef garnishing a meal with them on the Food Network.
These tiny plants are packed with BIG nutrition. In fact, a recent study published in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that microgreens from 25 nutritious vegetables (such as cilantro, celery, red cabbage, green basil and arugula) contained higher concentrations of disease-fighting Vitamins E and K and carotenoids than fully mature varieties.
So how do these infant greens develop become so nutrient-dense in such a short period of time? Microgreens are planted in soil and absorb its minerals as they grow which increases their nutritional content (unlike sprouts, for example, which are grown only using water). Here are three easy ways to start working these tiny but mighty greens into your diet. They’ll not only add flavor to your meals, but tons of vitamins too!
Play with garnishes
These greens look beautiful atop a caprese salad of mozzarella and tomatoes, or served with a piece of chicken or fish. It just adds a touch of color as well as a very strong and concentrated taste of the original vegetable. And as the fall approaches, don’t forget to add microgreens to complete a creamy soup like butternut squash.
Make a windowsill garden
While microgreens are starting to be sold in large supermarkets, you may still need to head to your local farmers market to get them—or you can grow your own! Check out this six step how-to guide. Since microgreens are cut as soon as the seeds sprout, you will see the fruits or ‘greens’ of your labor quickly and be able to enjoy what you grow.
Switch up your lunch
While it would be hard to make a whole salad base with microgreens, you can easily mix some in with your baby spinach or romaine lettuce base to add unexpected flavors to your lunch. The tiny leaves and stems also make a great extra topping on all types of sandwiches and add a nice crunch.