Association of Sugar Intake with Inflammation- and Angiogenesis-Related Biomarkers in Newly Diagnosed Colorectal Cancer Patients

Kelly L. Stewart, Biljana Gigic, Caroline Himbert, Christy A. Warby, Jennifer Ose, Tengda Lin, Petra Schrotz-King, Jürgen Boehm, Kristine C. Jordan, Julie Metos, Martin Schneider, Jane C. Figueiredo, Christopher I. Li, David Shibata, Erin Siegel, Adetunji T. Toriola, Sheetal Hardikar, Cornelia M. Ulrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Evidence suggests a positive association between sugar intake and colorectal cancer (CRC) outcomes. We sought to investigate inflammation and angiogenesis as underlying mechanisms behind increased sugar intake and worse CRC outcomes. Pre-surgery serum samples were obtained from 191 patients diagnosed with primary invasive stage I-IV CRC. Biomarkers of inflammation (CRP, SAA, IL-6, IL-8, MCP-1, TNFα) and angiogenesis (VEGFA, VEGFD, sICAM-1 and sVCAM-1) were analyzed (Meso-Scale-Discovery). Fructose, glucose, sucrose, and total sugar intake (calories/day, % total calories) were assessed by FFQ. Pearson’s correlation and multiple linear regression analyses were performed. Patients were on average 64 years old, 64% were male, the majority was diagnosed with stage II-III (58%) cancers, and 67% were either overweight or obese. Among normal-weight individuals (BMI <25 kg/m2), we observed a significant inverse association between VEGFD and any type of sugar intake in cal/day (sucrose: p = 0.01, glucose and fructose: p < 0.001) and MCP-1 and fructose intake (p = 0.05). The magnitude of reduction in VEGF ranged between −1.24 for sucrose to 4.49 for glucose intake, and −2.64 for fructose intake for MCP-1 levels. Sugar intake was associated with some inflammation or angiogenesis biomarkers, among CRC patients; differences were observed by adiposity that warrant further investigation. Supplemental data for this article is available online at at 10.1080/01635581.2021.1957133.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1636-1643
Number of pages8
JournalNutrition and Cancer
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2022


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