Sugar feeds Cancer….

This is an open letter to all the sweet folks in the world who are suffering from cancer.

I understand that the medical profession is woefully neglectful in telling you that sugar (simple sugars) feed cancer. If you limit cancers’ food supply, the cancer will be starved.   This sounds simplistic, but this is a very low-cost practice that could and should be used when you are using any other therapy, be it holistic, or allopathic.

It breaks my heart to see my friends and family who have been diagnosed as having any stage of cancer not know the basics of fighting disease nutritionally. I admit, I approach healing from a Biblical perspective. I believe that God is a good god. I believe that the design of the body is to get its nutrition from good foods. The body is able to process that nutrition and use the elements contained therein to repair the body. The body needs rest. The body needs oxygen. When all these things are supplied in good measure, the body will recover from any disease.   I don’t heal. Doctors don’t heal. Medicine does not heal. The body heals itself.

That being said, we are responsible for the state of our bodies. When our bodies break down, it is always because of nutritional deficiencies or trauma. The trauma can be emotional, mental or physical. We have lost the innate ability of the body’s immune system to heal itself.

Now, in case you think that I have a superior attitude, let me tell you that I lost my first husband to the side effects of cancer treatment. I don’t need to go into detail, but he died of radiation poisoning. Not at the hand of a naturopath, but at the hand of the premiere cancer hospitals in our city. Had I known then what I know now, I believe with all my heart that my husband would still be alive today.

I totally remember the day we visited the doctor and heard that he had cancer. We were both devastated. We were counseled to see a specialist, see our lawyer, and hope for the best. We were given two options: Chemo and Radiation. We were not given any information concerning alternative therapies. We were not given any nutritional counseling. I was somewhat of a health enthusiast, but I had no formal training, and did not know how powerful and effective good nutrition is.

As with most spouses and family members, we who are care givers want to do what ever it takes to make our loved one happy. Often times we turn to food.   The wrong kind of food. We turn to comfort food, as we want to comfort our family. Comfort food is traditionally sweet. This can be in the form of cake, ice cream, cookies, or it can take the form of pasta, bread, and high-glycemic vegetables. The body breaks these foods down into sugar, and the cancer cells thrive in this environment. We think we are comforting our patient, but in fact, we are hastening their death.

These foods turn to glucose in the bloodstream. In an article written by by Patrick Quillin, PHD, RD, CNS, From The April 2000 Issue of Nutrition Science News, the 1931 Nobel laureate in medicine, German Otto Warburg, Ph.D., first discovered that cancer cells have a fundamentally different energy metabolism compared to healthy cells. The crux of his Nobel thesis was that malignant tumors frequently exhibit an increase in anaerobic glycolysis — a process whereby glucose is used as a fuel by cancer cells with lactic acid as an anaerobic byproduct — compared to normal tissues.1 The large amount of lactic acid produced by this fermentation of glucose from cancer cells is then transported to the liver. This conversion of glucose to lactate generates a lower, more acidic pH in cancerous tissues as well as overall physical fatigue from lactic acid buildup.2,3 Thus, larger tumors tend to exhibit a more acidic pH.4

Sugar in the Body and Diet
Sugar is a generic term used to identify simple carbohydrates, which includes monosaccharides such as fructose, glucose and galactose; and disaccharides such as maltose and sucrose (white table sugar). Think of these sugars as different-shaped bricks in a wall. When fructose is the primary monosaccharide brick in the wall, the glycemic index registers as healthier, since this simple sugar is slowly absorbed in the gut, then converted to glucose in the liver. This makes for “time-release foods,” which offer a more gradual rise and fall in blood-glucose levels. If glucose is the primary monosaccharide brick in the wall, the glycemic index will be higher and less healthy for the individual. As the brick wall is torn apart in digestion, the glucose is pumped across the intestinal wall directly into the bloodstream, rapidly raising blood-glucose levels. In other words, there is a “window of efficacy” for glucose in the blood: levels too low make one feel lethargic and can create clinical hypoglycemia; levels too high start creating the rippling effect of diabetic health problems.

Understanding and using the glycemic index is an important aspect of diet modification for cancer patients. However, there is also evidence that sugars may feed cancer more efficiently than starches (comprised of long chains of simple sugars), making the index slightly misleading. A study of rats fed diets with equal calories from sugars and starches, for example, found the animals on the high-sugar diet developed more cases of breast cancer.9 The glycemic index is a useful tool in guiding the cancer patient toward a healthier diet, but it is not infallible. By using the glycemic index alone, one could be led to thinking a cup of white sugar is healthier than a baked potato. This is because the glycemic index rating of a sugary food may be lower than that of a starchy food. To be safe, I recommend less fruit, more vegetables, and little to no refined sugars in the diet of cancer patients.

‘Little to no refined sugars’ include anything sweet (desserts, soda) and anything made of white flour and most grains. Sadly, I see many of my family and friends consuming this type of food. While it may nourish the emotional need of feeling loved and taken care of, it is truly counter-productive when dealing with cancer. I have clients who come in with cancer diagnosis. Many times they are in stage 4. They have not been given any nutritional guidelines. When we make recommendations concerning regaining their health, one of the things we tell them is that cancer feeds on sugar. If they are serious about living, they will cut cancer out of their diets.

I can gratefully say that we have many people come through our doors with horrible blood work, and the dreaded diagnosis of cancer. There is nothing more gratifying than to see their blood work become normal after a few months on a good program with very limited sugar in their diet. The body can heal itself, but only if it is given the proper tools. I am also grateful that in my family, we know how to deal with sickness and disease in a holistic manner.

I can remember the day we heard the diagnosis of cancer. I remember collapsing in the elevator as I tried to digest what this meant for me and our two children.   I can tell you with all sincerity, I do not intend to lose another spouse to cancer or the side effects of allopathic treatment. I am grateful that my family and friends trust me to help them fight sickness and disease holistically with no toxic side effects.

My favorite scripture is Hosea 4:6: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” If you want to read the full article I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, see

Until next time,
Dr. Polly

  • I couldn’t agree more. It’s so nice to know what kind of Doctor you know. Since we’re new to Houston, I’ve been praying for someone with a natural treatment philosophy. Can’t wait to read more from you. Blessings!

  • Linda Hill says:

    I agree, Polly. I remember how devastating it was when you lost your husband. I wish my own husband would have lived long enough for us to get the proper treamtment for his cancer.