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High-Carb Consumption Linked to Esophageal Cancer

Posted Dec 18 2008 8:12pm

What a strange week. Just as I'm getting excited about my book being featured in TIME magazine and the word is spreading more about the dangers of sugars and refined carbs, a compelling study from Milan comes out, linking culprit-carb overload (i.e., lots of bread) with almost doubling the risk of kidney cancer (renal cell carcinoma).

Then, faster than you can say "refined carbohydrates" -- (OK, I'm exaggerating of course) -- still more research emerges from scientists at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, who found that quickie carbs are linked with a cascade of factors leading to esophageal cancer.

Lead researcher Vijay S. Khiani, M.D. -- who reported his findings at a meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology -- discovered, as MedPageToday.com puts it, "an association between the rising incidence of esophageal cancer in the U.S. and the increase in U.S. per-capita carbohydrate consumption over the past three decades."

Interestingly, Dr. Khiani blames carbs in a much more roundabout way than many other researchers, whose studies I reported about in my book SUGAR SHOCK!

Indeed, he makes a point to say that his findings shouldn't be construed as proving a "casual link." Even so, he Dr. Khiani contends that a high-carb diet could lead to obesity, which, in turn, as MedPageToday.com reports, "is known to predispose individuals to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This, in turn, has been linked to a greater likelihood for developing Barrett's esophagus, a precursor to lower-esophageal adenocarcinoma."

Dr. Khiani was quick to point out that his findings don't support kicking those carbs totally, and he even expressed wariness that some folks may use the research to motivate them to embark upon an Atkins or other low-carb diet. "Further research still needs to be done to determine whether there is a direct causal relationship."

Trust me: There's loads of research linking sweets and refined carbs with all kinds of cancer. (In fact, I just spent five years of my life trying to pull together information about some of the most compelling findings connecting those quickie carbs with diseases and conditions galore.)

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