Excess sugar: appearance of prediabetes and increase in cancer

Even without being diabetic, higher than normal blood sugar levels are increasingly found in the blood of “healthy” people. But more than being detrimental to heart health, a recent study suggests that this “prediabetes” is also a risk factor for several types of cancer.

  • Being prediabetic without knowing it
  • Increased risk of liver cancer by 200% and uterus by 60%
  • Nothing irreversible
  • One only has to glance at old photos to realize how much bigger we are today than just 30 years ago. The body mass index above 25 (overweight) or 30 (obese), a direct consequence of the overconsumption of high-calorie foods and an unprecedented sedentary lifestyle, is constantly increasing in the French population.

    We still too often approach this question of being overweight from an aesthetic angle, as if the only consequence of being “well wrapped” was to present an appearance incompatible with current standards of beauty. However, being overweight is first and foremost a medical problem: the excessive amount of fat accumulated in adipose tissue disrupts the general balance of the body, in particular its ability to adequately control blood sugar levels.

    As a result, one of the most serious dangers of being overweight is developing type 2 diabetes, an extremely difficult disease to treat and which is associated with a significant increase in the risk of heart disease, cancer and neurodegeneration. The importance of maintaining a normal body weight therefore has nothing to do with physical appearance; it is above all an essential prerequisite for the prevention of several serious chronic diseases.

    Being prediabetic without knowing it

    The onset of type 2 diabetes does not happen overnight: rather, it is the result of a long process during which the cells of the body gradually lose the ability to take up sugar present in the blood. . During this transition period, overweight people are what is called “prediabetic”, that is to say, they have blood sugar levels above normal (fasting glucose above 5.6 mmol/ L), without however reaching that of diabetics.

    This is a growing problem as the proportion of overweight people increases. This is a concerning situation, as several recent studies indicate that prediabetes can be very damaging to health, even when hyperglycemia is associated with no apparent symptoms.

    Increased risk of liver cancer by 200% and uterus by 60%

    A recent study looking at the impact of high blood sugar on cancer risk is a good example of the negative impact of prediabetes.

    By analyzing the results of 16 studies involving 891,426 people, a team of Chinese scientists observed that pre-diabetic people had a much higher risk of developing liver cancer (200%), colon cancer (55%). , uterus (60%) or pancreas (19%). All cancers combined, researchers estimate that prediabetic hyperglycemia increases the risk of cancer by 15%, and it is very likely that these disturbances in sugar metabolism play an important role in the increased risk of cancer that affects people in overweight.

    Nothing irreversible

    The good news is that prediabetes is not an incurable disease: it is possible to normalize blood sugar levels without medication, simply by changing your lifestyle. In this sense, the simple act of eating well, reducing your body weight by about 5-10% and being more physically active (for example, 120 minutes of moderate exercise such as brisk walking per week) can have extraordinary repercussions. on sugar metabolism and, in turn, help prevent cancer and chronic diseases in general.


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    Huang Y et al. Prediabetes and the risk of cancer: a meta-analysis. diabetes,

    See also: Dementia: too much sugar damages the brain


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