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High-Carbohydrate Diet Promotes Cancer Growth in Mice

Carbohydrate levels important regardless of high fat in mouse model of prostate cancer

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- A high-carbohydrate/high-fat diet promotes tumor growth in a mouse model of prostate cancer more than a low-carbohydrate/high-fat diet, according to study findings published online Nov. 27 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Vasundara Venkateswaran, Ph.D., from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, Canada, and colleagues fed immunodeficient mice injected with human prostate cancer cells either a high-carbohydrate/high-fat diet or a low-carbohydrate/high-fat diet.

After nine weeks, the researchers found that mice fed the high-fat/high-carbohydrate diet were significantly heavier, had bigger tumors, and had significantly higher levels of serum insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1. These mice also had modestly higher levels of the insulin receptor and activation of downstream signaling pathways, and their serum was better able to promote growth of prostate cancer cells in vitro.

"A diet high in refined carbohydrates is associated with increased tumor growth and with activation of signaling pathways distal to the insulin receptor in a murine model of prostate cancer," Venkateswaran and colleagues conclude.

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