The Diet Link to Lung Cancer


You don’t need to smoke to develop lung cancer. According to a study from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, eating a refined carbohydrate-rich diet increases lung cancer risk in non-smokers. The diet and health histories of more than 1,900 people with lung cancer were compared to about 2,400 people without the disease. Results showed that people in the top for consumption of high-glycemic carbohydrate-rich foods, such as refined grains and potatoes, had a 49% greater risk of developing lung cancer compared to those people who consumed the least amount of high glycemic carbohydrates. While the mechanism is poorly understood, the researchers speculate that high glycemic diets are linked to diabetes risk, which encourages the activity of certain cellular “growth factor” chemicals that are known to play a role in cancer.

Researches at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health report that adding potatoes, especially French fries, to the diet increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes independent of body mass index (BMI). Replacement of potatoes with 100% whole grains lowered diabetes risk in this study.

Melkonian S, Daniel C, Ye Y, e al: Glycemic index, glycemic load, and lung cancer risk in non-Hispanic whites. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 2016; March 4th.

Muraki I, Rimm E, Willett W, et al: Potato consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2016;39:376-384.


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