A news study now shows that high-cholesterol diets send cancer cells into overdrive and cause tumours to grow 10 times faster.
Scientists of the study have shown for the first time that the mechanism which means fatty cholesterol significantly increases the risk of colon cancers.
The research which was carried out at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) who made the discovery are other types of cancer too show similar frenzy under the influence of cholesterol.
Speaking about it, Dr Peter Tontonoz, said that they were excited to find that cholesterol affects growth of stem cells in intestines which in turn accelerates rate of tumour growth formation by more than 100 per cent.
He went on to add, “While the connection between dietary cholesterol and colon cancer is well established, no one has previously explained the mechanism behind it.”
The study, published in Cell Stem Cell, investigated mice who were given a high cholesterol diet and others genetically modified to produce more cholesterol in their natural state.
Scientists observed that in both cases, extra cholesterol was a powerful trigger for the replication of intestinal stem cells which are responsible for the growth of the gut.
However, the rapid growth also meant that the growth of tumour cells accelerated rapidly as well.
Scientists are still debating whether cholesterol-busting drugs like statins, which are widely prescribed to people at risk of heart attacks or strokes, can lower risk of gut cancers.
According to the study, the report concludes: “We showed here that high cholesterol diet feeding increased cellular cholesterol levels in [gut] crypts and that cellular cholesterol content regulates the proliferation of ISCs.
Therefore, it says, it is logical that this previously unseen mechanism is what is driving up tumour growth in humans on a high cholesterol diet....