Processing Magazine

Group Claims Study on Fructose and Pancreatic Cancer Misleading

August 4, 2010
A study published in the August issue of Cancer Research has resulted in several premature and potentially misleading conclusions when it comes to fructose and its effect on pancreatic tumor cells, according to a press release statement from the CRA, the national trade association representing the corn refining (wet milling) industry of the United States. The main contribution of this paper is to demonstrate that cancer cells utilize fructose as an alternate substrate to glucose for fueling growth. Cancer cells are well known for having multiple mechanisms to escape the body''s normal controls, which make controlled laboratory studies poor models for generating meaningful results. This study does not look at the way fructose is actually consumed by humans, as it was conducted in a laboratory, not inside the human body. The study also narrowly compared pure fructose to pure glucose, neither of which is consumed in isolation in the human diet. The study''s authors inaccurately state that high fructose corn syrup is the most significant source of fructose in the diet, whereas in the United States more fructose is still consumed from sugar than from high fructose corn syrup. Indeed, worldwide, humans consume nine times as much sucrose as they do high fructose corn syrup. The causes of pancreatic cancer are poorly understood. To blame one component of the diet is highly speculative based on one, small study done in a Petri dish.