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Thu. May 23rd, 2024

A poor diet raises the risk of cancer, says study

As of yet, researchers have not shown a clear causal relationship between any specific dietary ingredient and cancer.

According to a recent study, methylglyoxal, which is created when cells break down glucose, could provide some insight into the connection between a poor diet and cancer.

According to the study, a prolonged inadequate diet raises the synthesis of methylglyoxal, which turns off genes that prevent cancer and raises the risk of the disease.

Methylglyoxal, which is created when cells break down glucose to release energy, has been shown in cell tests to suppress genes that guard against cancer. They propose that an unhealthy diet raises methylglyoxal levels, which raise the risk of cancer.

In depth

This work raises the possibility of a link between a genetic mutation pattern observed in certain malignancies and elevated concentrations of the metabolic byproduct methylglyoxal. It’s an intriguing field to investigate further, but in order to determine definitively whether methylglyoxal levels are associated with an increased risk of cancer, more laboratory and clinical study is required.

A by-product of the metabolism of lipids, proteins, and glucose is methylglyoxal. Enzymes convert this tiny, reactive molecule into less hazardous compounds because it has the potential to interfere with cell function. However, the study indicates that an excess of methylglyoxal may cause harm to DNA.

First, the researchers looked at how methylglyoxal affected cells from individuals who had inherited a copy of the defective BRCA2 gene, which raises the chance of developing ovarian and breast cancers. They found that methylglyoxal momentarily inhibited BRCA2’s ability to control tumour growth, which may raise the risk of cancer developing.

Methylglyoxal causes the BRCA2 protein to be destroyed, which lowers cell levels of the protein. (It does not stop the BRCA2 gene from being expressed.) Although brief, this action has the potential to hinder BRCA2 from preventing tumours. DNA deterioration caused by methylglyoxal was observed in cells expressing the mutant BRCA2 gene. The degree of DNA damage increased with repeated exposure to methylglyoxal.

According to Prof. Ashok Venkitaraman, there is ample evidence that certain people have an elevated susceptibility to breast, ovarian, pancreatic, or other cancers due to the inheritance of an erroneous copy of the BRCA2 gene from their parents.

According to the most recent research, these people’s cells are especially vulnerable to the impacts of methylglyoxal, a substance that is created when our cells metabolise glucose to make energy. The team discover that methylglyoxal suppresses BRCA2’s ability to prevent tumours, which ultimately results in DNA errors that serve as early warning indicators of the onset of cancer, he continued.

Take away

Venkitaraman issued a warning, stating that it would be too soon to make any precise recommendations to lower the risk of cancer based on their research because it was done in cells rather than on humans. But he did explain how their research might affect the way that genes and cancer are thought of.

Our most recent research indicates that methylglyoxal might momentarily deactivate these cancer-preventing genes, implying that recurrent bouts of poor eating habits or unmanaged diabetes may eventually “add up” to raise the risk of cancer. According to the study, high concentrations of methylglyoxal can temporarily reduce the tumor-suppressor protein BRCA2, raising the possibility of DNA damage in cancer cells. However, this does not indicate that these cells would eventually develop into cancer.

Further investigation is required to see whether similar effects might be observed in the more intricately regulated metabolic reactions and by-products of our tissues, organs, and bodies.

By Parvathy Sukumaran

Parvathy Sukumaran is a Content Creator and Editor at JustCare Health. She is an Educator and a Language Lecturer. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Education and an M.A in English Literature. She is passionate about writing, archaeology, music and cooking.

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