What You Need to Know About Sugar and Breast Cancer—It’s NOT What You Think!

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Alternatives Cancer Treatment, Alternatives to Anti-Hormone Therapy For Breast Cancer, Alternatives to Tamoxifen, Anticancer foods, foods for colon cancer, foods for breast cancer, aromatase inhibitors, Boosting Estrogen, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Estrogen and Breast Cancer, Hormone Balance, SERMS, Tamoxifen, Uncategorized on October 20, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Cancer loves sugar, we all know that – sugar feeds cancer and suppresses the immune system. The effects of each dose can last for 5-6 hours. The more sugar we eat, the faster cancer cells can grow. But do you know why sugar happens to love breast cancer?

Cells require sugar for energy, but it needs help to get into the cells. Insulin is the helper that attaches to and signals cells to absorb sugar from the bloodstream. Food sources that boost insulin production and regulate blood sugar levels include red cabbage, sweet potatoes, fenugreek seeds, curcumin, blueberries, vitamin D, and Ceylon cinnamon (so please continue to eat them). However, consuming sugar (sweets, pasta, and many bread, including whole wheat) raises blood sugar levels quickly. The pancreas responds to this by pumping out insulin to lower blood sugar levels. Over time, this can lead to decreased insulin sensitivity. When this happens, the body begins to ignore the signal to take glucose out of the bloodstream and put it into our cells. This triggers the body to start producing even more insulin. The more insulin, the more circulating estrogen there is to stimulate breast cancer cells.

     Sugar spikes insulin levels. Insulin regulates how much estrogen is available to stimulate breast cells. The more sugar you consume, the higher your circulating estrogen levels.

In the Fall 2019 issue of Breast Cancer Wellness there is an excellent article on sugar and its connection to estrogen, written by Dr Christine Horner, M.D. According to Horner, sugar “attacks a portion of the estrogen cycle, making more estrogen available to attach to the estrogen receptors in breast tissue. Insulin regulates how much of the estrogen in your blood is available to attach to estrogen receptors in your breast tissue. When estrogen travels in the blood, it either travels alone seeking a mate (an estrogen receptor), or it travels with a partner (a protein binder) that prevents it from attaching to an estrogen receptor. Insulin regulates the number of protein binders in the blood. So, the higher your insulin levels are, the fewer the number of protein binders there will be and therefore the more free estrogen that will be available to attach to estrogen receptors.  In other words, when your insulin levels are up, free-estrogen levels are up too. And both of them speed up cell division. That’s why high insulin levels increase your risk of breast cancer so much.” She further explains that “when insulin attaches to its receptor, it has the same effect as when estrogen attaches to its receptor; it causes cells to start dividing. The higher your insulin levels are, the faster your breast cells will divide; the faster they divide, the higher your risk of breast cancer is and the faster any existing cancer cells will grow.”

Addressing Estrogen Receptors with SERMS

To address estrogen receptor positive cancers, oncologists often recommend SERMS (selective receptor modulators) such as tamoxifen. However, tamoxifen is a carcinogenic drug that comes with significant side effects, including an increased risk of cancer.

Research shows that phytoestrogens,  plant-derived estrogens that can actually cause anti-estrogenic effects by binding to estrogen receptors (much like tamoxifen), might be worthy of consideration. The potential effects of dietary phytoestrogens have been studied to lower the risk of menopausal symptoms, cardiovascular disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, brain function disorders, and cancers of the breast, ovaries, endometrium, prostate, and other cancers

I will address the role of phytoestrogens as holistic selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMS vs Tamoxifen) in a subsequent post.  I will also address the question of ‘do aromatase inhibitors actually increase your risk of breast or other cancers?’. Meanwhile, you may wish to read my many articles on natural alternatives to anti-hormone therapies such as aromatase inhibitors and tamoxifen.

In your good health,


~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~

ej portrait 150resElyn Jacobs is a holistic cancer strategist and speaker specializing in the prevention and treatment of cancer. She is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn has written for numerous journals and publications. She was the former Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation and the creator and host of the Survive and Live Well Radio Show. To contact Elyn, visit www.elynjacobs.com. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone, or in-person. Elyn does not provide online advice.

Elyn Jacobs does not provide medical advice. The information provided is for general information only. No online site should be used as a substitute for personal medical attention.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not a recommendation to forgo medical advice and treatment.  This post is not intended to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. This post does not represent medical advice nor should it be considered to be medical advice or a replacement for medical advice.  I encourage you to discuss this information with your integrative oncologist, naturopathic doctor, or conventional oncologist. The information provided is from my research and not to be taken as scientific evidence.

Affiliate Links Disclosure:

Some product links on some posts are affiliate links. This website is monetized in part through the use of affiliate links. This means that if you were to click on a link that is an affiliate link and purchase an item after clicking on that link, I may receive a small percentage of the sales price. I only recommend products that I love and use often. Thank you for your support!

Follow Elyn on Facebook

Follow Elyn on LinkedIn

[i] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190212162216.htm


  1. Hello Elyn – I was just reading your article but was a little confused. I eat a lot of blueberries and sweet potatoes and take vitamin D3 and curcumin. Are you saying that this is bad for hormone positive breast cancer?

    Thank you for your response.

    Inez Knight 647 271 6660

    • Hi Inez, sorry to confuse. Yes, blueberries, sweet potatoes and vitamin D, etc are very good. They actually help stabilize blood sugar and provide the necessary insulin to cells, without the spike and risk of insulin sensitivity.

  2. Another excellent post. I look forward to part 2!

    Don Henig Dhenig123@gmail.com 516-991-9504


  3. Good study here, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation that proves that sugar not only feeds already existing cancer cells but in fact promotes oncogenesis (which is a healthy cell becoming a cancer cell).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: