They discover why poor diet increases the risk of cancer

The shadow of cancer is behind any person, since it is estimated that one in two men and one in three women will suffer from this pathology at some point in their lives.. However, 40% of tumors are preventable with healthy lifestyle habits, such as reducing toxins, engaging in physical activity and, of course, eating a varied and healthy diet.

The theory has been on the table for years, since “It has been proven that what we eat has a lot to say in one in three tumors,” warns Emilia Gómez Pardo, doctor in Molecular Biology and health and nutrition advisor. However, numerous questions remain to be resolved about the impact that poor diet has on the development of some types of cancer. Well, now there is a new hypothesis, since scientists from the National University of Singapore have Missing link discovered between poor diet and increased cancer risk. As published in the magazine “Cell”, the key is in the methylglyoxal, a chemical produced when cells break down glucose to create energy.

«This is a basic research study that uses breast cancer organoids as a model, and whose results suggest a new possible explanation for the initial phases of carcinogenesis, based on metabolic and environmental mechanisms, rather than purely genetic ones. Scientific findings could eventually have high potential in the future, mainly in the prevention section.and in certain types of cancer,” acknowledges the Dr. Luis de la Cruzmember of the Board of Trustees of the ECO Foundation and head of the Medical Oncology Service at the Virgen Macarena University Hospital in Seville.

Specifically, the research team first studied patients who are at high risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer because they inherit a defective copy of the BRCA2 gene. Thus, they showed that the cells of these patients were particularly sensitive to the effects of methylglyoxal, to the point that the study showed that this chemical substance can cause flaws in our DNA that are early warning signs of cancer development. But not only that, since Research also suggested that people with higher than normal levels of methylglyoxal, such as patients with diabetes or prediabetes, which are linked to obesity or a poor diet, may accumulate similar amounts..

«As described in the article, several epidemiological studies suggest an increased risk of breast and pancreatic cancer in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Since the exact molecular mechanisms by which this happens are still unknown, this work is very interesting. , since it delves into one of the already well-established “hallmarks” or hallmarks of cancer, which is metabolic reprogramming. Cancer cells, due to the “Warburg” effect, make use of aerobic glycolysis, which entails the generation and accumulation of high levels of metabolites such as methylglyoxal (MGO), which is potentially oncogenic,” explains Dr. De la Cruz.

“Our research suggests that patients with elevated levels of methylglyoxal may have an increased risk of cancer and methylglyoxal can be easily detected by blood test, which could be used as a marker. Furthermore, these high levels can be controlled with medications and a good diet, which creates ways to take proactive measures against the appearance of cancer,” acknowledges the professor. Ashok Venkitaramandirector of the Institute of Cancer Sciences, belonging to the National University of Singapore.

So, “These findings raise awareness about the impact of diet and weight control in managing cancer risks”adds the first author of the study, Dr. Li Ren Kong. An issue defended by Dr. De la Cruz, who advances that “more in-depth knowledge of the mechanisms that govern altered metabolism, to which this study contributes, will allow “design intervention strategies to prevent cancer or to treat it once established in a more precise and individualized way.”.

Based on the findings obtained with this research, it is expected to identify new mechanisms that underlie the connection between metabolism, diet and cancer that have been discovered, to develop more effective approaches to prevent or delay the appearance of the tumor.