Irish Independent - Health & Living - - CANCER SPECIAL -

MIS­IN­FOR­MA­TION about nu­tri­tion and can­cer is rife and can have dev­as­tat­ing con­se­quences for peo­ple with can­cer. It is un­der­stand­able that a per­son di­ag­nosed with can­cer would con­sider try­ing any­thing that might help make them bet­ter and give them a greater sense of con­trol. How­ever ex­treme ‘can­cer di­ets’ can be harm­ful. Some of the com­mon diet myths in­clude: • Whether it be an al­ka­line diet, a ve­gan diet or juice diet — re­mem­ber there is no proof that diet can treat or cure can­cer. These di­ets can be re­stric­tive and can re­sult in nu­tri­ent de­fi­cien­cies. • Cut­ting out sugar and car­bo­hy­drates to ‘starve the tu­mour’ — this idea over­sim­pli­fies a com­pli­cated process. All cells in the body use a type of sugar called glu­cose as a source of fuel. As can­cer cells di­vide more rapidly than nor­mal cells they use more glu­cose. How­ever the body tightly reg­u­lates the glu­cose level in the blood and there is no sci­en­tific ev­i­dence that cut­ting out sugar or car­bo­hy­drate foods starves a tu­mour of glu­cose. • High doses of sup­ple­ments — high-dose anti-ox­i­dant sup­ple­ments may in­ter­act with can­cer treat­ments and drugs so are not rec­om­mended.

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