High sugar levels can cause more than diabetes say researchers. If you are a woman, it can significantly increase your risks of getting cancer.
Researchers from the Department of Surgical and Preoperative Sciences at Umea University Hospital in Sweden, led by Dr. Par Stattin conducted a study on 33,293 women and 31,304 men, spanning a period of 13 years. The participants were recruited in the mid-1980s at age 40, 50 and 60.
The research named the Västerbotten Intervention Project and funded by World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), put the participants to test by measuring fasting glucose levels as well as sugar levels after glucose infusions.
During the study period ,2,478 cases of cancer of the pancreas, breast, womb, and skin were discovered.
It was seen that women in the top 25 per cent for blood sugar levels after fasting were 26 per cent more likely to develop a cancer than those in the bottom 25 per cent.
In women under 49, there was an increased risk of breast cancer for those with high sugar levels.
Says Dr Greg Martin, of WCRF UK: "The results are concerning. They are important because if women are aware of the facts, they are likely to be more motivated to change their lifestyle if their blood sugar levels are too high.
"And the good news is that it is possible to reduce your blood sugar levels by eating a healthy balanced diet with lots of fruit and vegetables and maintaining a healthy weight.
"We know that up to 40 per cent of cancer cases can be prevented by this type of healthy lifestyle, so this is just another reason for people to make those small changes that could make a big difference."
Dr. Stattin suggests that the absence of a link between overall cancer risk and elevated sugar levels among men is due to the fact that prostate cancer, by far the most common cancer among men in this study, was inversely proportional to glucose levels.
The studies had another surprise find- eating fatty foods can impair the body's ability to break down glucose, this way leading to elevated sugar levels.
The study is published in the March issue of Diabetes Care.