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A different GI link to colon cancers

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4:35pm, October 22, 2002

From San Diego, at the Experimental Biology 2000 meeting

As they head for the stomach from the mouth, the carbohydrates in vegetables, breads, fruits, and candy all begin breaking down into simple sugars. According to some studies, carbs with a low glycemic index (GI)—meaning that they are digested slowly—reduce a person's risk of heart disease and obesity through an as yet unidentified mechanism linked to their effects on insulin (SN: 4/8/00, p. 236: The New GI Tracts). Such low-GI fare may also offer protection against colon cancer, new research finds.

Insulin shepherds sugar into cells. The more sugar that's deposited into the bloodstream at one time, the more insulin the body produces. Because this hormone can trigger the proliferation of colon cells, Livia S. Augustin of the National Cancer Institute in Aviano, Italy, decided to investigate the possible role of GI and related factors in colon cancer risk.

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