New research has shown that eating foods with a high glycemic index such as white bread or bagels, corn flakes and puffed rice leads to increased risk of lung cancer.
The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of the influence of carbohydrates on glucose levels in the blood after eating.
The study showed that the relationship between GI and lung cancer are especially noticeable in the subgroup of patients who do not smoke and have a diagnosis of squamous cell lung cancer.
The researchers analyzed the data of 1905 patients with newly diagnosed lung cancer and 2413 healthy people. The participants told them about their eating habits.
“We found that participants who daily consumed foods with the highest GI, had a 49% higher risk of developing lung cancer, compared with participants who prefer products with low GI,” says senior author Xifeng Wu, Professor Cancer center MD Anderson at the University of Texas in the United States.
“The relationship was more pronounced in patients diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma who have never smoked or had less than 12 years of education”, he said.
The researchers found that the intake of carbohydrates is not associated with the risk of lung cancer.
“This suggests that the quality and not the amount of carbohydrate affects the risk of lung cancer,” said Wu.
The researchers also found that Smoking patients who consumed foods with a high GI had a 2 times higher probability of developing lung cancer than patients who prefer foods with a low GI. In smokers this risk was higher only 31%.
“These data suggest that dietary factors may influence the risk of lung cancer,” said Wu.
The study was published in the journal “Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention”.