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The Sugar & Cancer Connection - and How to Effectively Lower It!

Growing research has shown that higher blood insulin can result in increased cancer risk.

Because insulin is a growth factor, high insulin levels trigger rapid cell division and can cause cells to lose control of their DNA regulator genes leading to increased potential for tumor progression and cancer metastases.

High levels of insulin are now recognized as important contributors to the development and progression of many kinds of cancer.

The risk of developing the most common form of breast cancer by consuming a diet rich in readily digested sugars and carbohydrates increases the risk by 36% to 41%.

A consistent finding across a broad spectrum of common malignancies reveals that higher blood insulin results in increased cancer risk.

For example, prostate cancer incidence is 2.55-fold greater in men with the highest blood insulin levels.

Elevated insulin levels have been associated with an increased cancer risk as well as with aggressive and metastatic cancer types characterized by a poor prognosis

Dangerously Elevated Insulin Levels

Recommended Labs to Have Your Doctor Order

Fasting Insulin--004333--Optimal-2.0-5.0

Hemoglobin A1c--001453--Optimal-4.5.-5.2

Elevated Insulin and Common Human Cancers

Insulin levels have been implicated in at least seven of the most common human malignancies.

1: Colon Cancer

A study found that insulin levels raise the risk of having precancerous growths called adenomas by 17% to 42%, with higher risk associated with higher levels.

2: Gastric (stomach) Cancer

Gastric (stomach) cancer risk is 69% higher for people with blood insulin levels in the middle third, compared with those in the bottom third of results, and 101% higher in those with the top one-third of insulin levels.

3: Breast Cancer

Women with higher insulin levels are at a 2- to 3-fold increased risk for breast cancer, compared to those with lower levels.

4: Endometrial (uterine lining) Cancer

Risk increases with higher insulin levels almost 10-fold for early premalignant changes in endometrial cells, 8.5-fold for later premalignant changes, 18-fold for true precancerous lesions, and a shocking 45-fold for type I endometrial cancer. Elevated serum insulin levels are also associated with increased risk for ovarian cancer.

5: Prostate Cancer

Men with the highest blood insulin levels in one study showed a 2.55-fold increased risk of prostate malignancy compared with those having the lowest levels. And men with the highest level of insulin had a 5.62-fold increase in the risk of having locally advanced tumors than those with lower levels, while the most insulin-resistant subjects' risk of advanced cancer was more than 3-fold increased.

6: Liver Cancer

Those with the highest insulin levels have an approximate 2.4-fold increase in the risk of developing liver cancer.

7: Brain Cancer

Studies suggests that glioblastomas are sensitive to the mitogenic functions of insulin, thus significant insulin exposure imposes risks to glioblastoma patients. Of special interest, dual inhibition of insulin receptor and IGF1R exhibits promise for treating glioblastoma.

How to Reduce Insulin Levels 

1: Eat a low glycemic plant based/Mediterranean Diet.

Numerous studies reveal animal protein intake intensifies insulin resistance whereas plant-based foods enhance insulin sensitivity.

2: Prioritize physical activity

Research has shown that exercise training can reduce fasting insulin levels and insulin resistance in adults with and without type 2 diabetes.

3: Try adding cinnamon to foods and beverages

Recent studies suggest that both individuals living with insulin resistance and those with relatively normal insulin levels who supplement with cinnamon may experience enhanced insulin sensitivity and decreased insulin levels.

4: Try adding Apple cider vinegar (ACV) to your daily diet

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) may help prevent insulin and blood sugar spikes after eating, particularly when consumed with high carbohydrate foods. One review found that consuming 2–6 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar (ACV) daily appears to improve glycemic response to carbohydrate-rich meals. 

5: Consider intermittent fasting

Research also suggests intermittent fasting may help reduce insulin levels as effectively as or more effectively than daily calorie restriction.

6: Increase soluble fiber intake

Soluble fiber provides a number of health benefits, including aiding in weight loss and reducing blood sugar levels.

7: Eat more fatty fish

Studies have shown that the omega-3s in fatty fish like wild salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, and anchovies. may also help reduce insulin resistance.

8: Reduce stress

Stress encourages the body to go into “fight-or-flight” mode, which stimulates the production of stress hormones that break down glycogen, a form of stored sugar, into glucose. Ongoing stress keeps your stress hormone levels high increasing blood sugar reducing insulin sensitivity.

9: Lose a few pounds

Excess weight, especially belly fat, reduces insulin sensitivity and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by making hormones that promote insulin resistance in the muscles and liver

10: Vetted Supplements Found to Effectively Lower Insulin

Several nutrients have emerged showing promise in reducing insulin levels and/or increasing insulin sensitivity, which lowers glucose and insulin blood levels.


Resveratrol treatment greatly improved glucose metabolism, insulin tolerance, and insulin metabolism compared to placebo with a 47% reduction in fasting insulin.


Numerous studies show a positive impact on reversing insulin resistance with a 34% reduction in fasting insulin.

Green tea

A meta-analysis suggested that green tea had favorable effects on decreasing  fasting glucose and Hb A1c concentrations. One study showed a significant reduction with a 22% reduction in fasting insulin.


Some studies suggest that ginseng (Korean) is likely to have beneficial effects on the amelioration of insulin resistance and the prevention of Type 2 Diabetes with a 13% reduction in fasting insulin.


Berberine can increase insulin sensitivity, reduce insulin dosage, while helping to reduce fat and control body weight.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to affect insulin secretion in both humans and animal models. Accumulating evidence suggests the role of vitamin D in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance. Supplementations of vitamin D may provide for suitable management and act to ameliorate insulin resistance.


Those individuals with the highest magnesium intake had the lowest insulin. Individuals with the lowest magnesium intake had the highest fasting insulin levels. Magnesium supplementation has a positive effect on insulin receptor activity and insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid

Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is a natural compound with antioxidant and pro-oxidant properties which has effects on the regulation of insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion.


Chromium is an essential mineral that appears to have a beneficial role in the regulation of insulin action and its effects on carbohydrate, protein and lipid metabolism. Chromium is an important factor for enhancing insulin activity. Studies show that people with type 2 diabetes have lower blood levels of chromium than those without the disease.

Gymnema Sylvestre

Gymnema's role in insulin secretion and cell regeneration may also contribute to its blood-sugar- lowering capabilities. Gymnema sylvestre may stimulate insulin production in your pancreas, promoting the regeneration of insulin-producing islet cells. This can help lower your blood sugar levels.

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