The most common cause of lung cancer tobacco, we all know. However, it now does not occur only in those who smoke, even those who have never smoked are able to have lung cancer. One of the risk factors for the disease in them stems from certain diets with high carbohydrates, as a new study suggested.
These diets with foods including white bread or bagels, corn flakes, and puffed rice are also known as “high glycemic index” (GI) diets. Glycemic index is a measure of the quality of dietary carbohydrates, defined by how fast blood sugar levels are raised following a meal. Certain diets with “poor quality carbs” food can trigger fast-rising levels of blood sugar and significantly associate with lung cancer risk.
Consuming this kind of diet can increase your risk of developing lung cancer, said senior research of the study, Dr. Xifeng Wu, Chair of Cancer Prevention at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
The authors emphasized that their work cannot prove the cause-and-effect, and cannot take into account the possible part of other illnesses including diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease.
When conducting this study, the researchers took a closer look at the dietary histories and health habits of over 1,900 patients with lung cancer and more than 2,400 healthy individuals. All of the participants were non-Hispanic whites. They particularly focused on the consumption of foods rich in carbohydrates, such as white bread and potatoes, cited by Dr. Rishi Jain, a Medical Oncologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.
“We observed a 49 percent increased risk of lung cancer among subjects with the highest daily GI,” said Dr. Xifeng Wu. “The associations were more pronounced among subjects who were never smokers, diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma or had less than 12 years of education,” added Dr. Xifeng Wu.
Gathering evidence implies that dietary factors may impact on lung cancer risk, Wu noted. Dr. Jain agreed that the downstream influence of the poor quality carbs diets on cellular development factors might explain the link to the threat of getting this cancer.
Wu also said that taking a closer look at the group of those who have never smoke is crucial because smoking, a well-known confounding risk factor, is rejected. This give a more apparent picture of the potential contribution of diet to lung cancer risk.
“Although smoking is a major, well-characterized risk factor for lung cancer, it does not account for all the variations in lung cancer risk,” Wu said in a journal news release. “This study provides additional evidence that diet may independently, and jointly with other risk factors, impact [the risk for] lung cancer.”