Cell: in carriers of defective BRCA2 gene, sugar consumption increases cancer risk

April 15, 2024  16:41

Scientists from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have found that in people (predominantly women) with a mutation in the BRCA2 gene, a chemical produced when sugar is broken down in the body may increase the risk of cancer. The results of the study are published in the journal Cell.

During the study, scientists analysed the DNA of volunteers with defective variants of the BRCA2 gene, which is associated with an increased risk of ovarian and breast cancer. The researchers sought to identify the mechanisms that trigger oncogenesis.

It turned out that cells from people with defective BRCA2 were sensitive to the effects of methylglyoxal, a by-product of glycolysis (a metabolic process that converts glucose into energy by breaking down sugar from food). According to the scientists, the accumulation of methylglyoxal can damage DNA and temporarily inactivate certain genes that prevent cancer.

The study also showed that in people with prediabetes or diabetes, increased levels of methylglyoxal in the body can increase the likelihood of cancer, even if BRCA2 is functioning normally.

According to scientists, it is possible to control the concentration of methylglyoxal in the body through proper diet and physical activity. Such measures can reduce the risk of cancer in people initially predisposed to this disease.

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