This review summarizes a selection of epidemiologic research assessing the associations between carbohydrate intake and cancer incidence and survival. Evidence for plausible biological mechanisms is also considered.
The mechanistic paradigm explaining the relationship between carbohydrates and cancer risk has been contested by numerous observational studies.
Carbohydrates have conventionally been ascribed a deleterious role in the field of cancer research due to previous preclinical findings. A breadth of studies suggests that complex carbohydrate intake is inversely associated with risk of a number of cancer types. Data from studies assessing simple carbohydrates and cancer risk are mixed. Furthermore, recommendations for subsequent studies are framed.