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This is not going to surprise you. It’s also not going to be good news. At least, not to those who are addicted to sugar. And, let’s face it, most of America is addicted. In fact, sugar is America’s #1 drug of choice, with Americans consuming, on average, about 20 teaspoons, or 80 grams, of sugar a day.

The human body was not designed to consume that much sugar. It simply cannot process extremely high levels of sweeteners.

You know what can? Cancer cells. Tumors.

Molecular biologists in Belgium have discovered, after nine years of research, that sugar stimulates tumor growth.

Here’s the skinny on how your body is supposed to work—

According to Nature Communications, most non-cancerous cells in the body get their energy by aerobic respiration, a process that involves breaking down digested food into usable, energy-rich molecules through a series of chemical processes that requires oxygen, then releasing carbon dioxide as a byproduct.

Cancer cells don’t play that way.

Even when there’s plenty of oxygen available, cancer cells would prefer to get their energy from — you guessed it — SUGAR.

Researchers in this new study observed yeast cells in the lab and found that their fermentation process — the same one that cancer cells prefer — actually stimulates tumor growth. Even more alarming, their findings suggest that the most common cancer-causing genes, called “Ras proteins”, fuel aggressive tumors with their sugar intake.

To put it simply, sugar wakes up existing cancer cells, thereby making them rapidly multiply and expand.

This is all just another reason to be aware of your sugar intake. Stay away from artificial sweeteners. Limit processed sugars. Stick to the real stuff. And stay under 30 grams of sugar a day.

With some diligence and common sense, you can still treat yourself once in a while.

Life is sweet. Enjoy it!