A new study has shown a link between glycemic index (GI) and lung cancer.
People who eat lots of starchy and sugary food are at high risk of lung cancer.
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According to a new study, starchy food such as white bread, potatoes and rice have a high glycemic index. These foods raise blood sugar levels and stimulate the production of insulin like growth factors (IGFs) The increased levels of IGFs can amplify the risk of lung cancer.
“Diets high in glycemic index result in higher levels of blood glucose and insulin, which promote perturbations in the insulin-like growth factors (IGFs)," said Stephanie Melkonian, lead author of the study. “Previous research suggests increased levels of IGFs are associated with increased lung cancer risk. However, the association between glycemic index and lung cancer risk was unclear.”
To confirm the connection between GI and lung cancer, researchers surveyed nearly 2000 people in Houston, who had recently been diagnosed with lung cancer and asked them about the food they ate in the last year. Then, they compared that diet with those of 2,400 healthy individuals. Other risk factors of lung cancer such as smoking were also considered for drawing the conclusion.
Researchers found that people who ate food with a high glycemic index were 49% more likely to have lung cancer than those who consumed the fewest high glycemic foods. The link was even stronger among people who never smoked.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer related deaths in United States. According to American Cancer Society, more than 15,000 people die of lung cancer every year. Lung cancer is difficult to diagnose because of its vague symptoms. By the time cancer is diagnosed, it is already spread and becomes impossible to treat.
Researchers suggest that it may be difficult to overcome the disease once it spreads, but certainly the risk of developing lung cancer can be decreased by adopting healthy habits such as avoiding too much high carb food, doing exercise and eating lots of fruits and vegetables.
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Co-researchers Xifeng Wu said. “The results from this study suggest that, besides maintaining healthy lifestyles, such as avoiding tobacco, limiting alcohol consumption and being physically active, reducing the consumption of food and beverages with high glycemic index may serve as a mean to lower the risk of lung cancer.