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Sugary Drinks and Cancer

SandiaBuddy's picture
SandiaBuddy
Posts: 860
Joined: Apr 2017

I came accross this study in an article in the newspaper.  There is no sense in looking back (I used to drink sodas a decade or so ago, before I cleaned up my diet), but the information may be useful looking forward or for family memebers:

https://www.bmj.com/content/366/bmj.l2408

The consumption of sugary drinks was significantly associated with the risk of overall cancer (n=2193 cases, subdistribution hazard ratio for a 100mL/d increase 1.18, 95% confidence interval 1.10 to 1.27, P<0.0001) and breast cancer (693, 1.22, 1.07 to 1.39, P=0.004). . .  In specific subanalyses, the consumption of 100% fruit juice was significantly associated with the risk of overall cancer (2193, 1.12, 1.03 to 1.23, P=0.007). . . . [These results] suggest that sugary drinks, which are widely consumed in Western countries, might represent a modifiable risk factor for cancer prevention.

myAZmountain's picture
myAZmountain
Posts: 249
Joined: Apr 2018

I find it hard to believe there is no correlation with artificially sweetened colas with cancer--its the only thing that I did differently than ayone in my family (that has zero incidence of Cancer of any kind.) I drank Diet soda by the gallons from age 15 or 16 till just a few years before getting diagnosed--so 44 years. Between the Aspartame and caramel coloring I am convinced that is what triggered my cancer.  I once asked my first oncologist about the metabolic theory and cancer (ie, sugar feeding cancer) and he retorted that if sugar caused cancer every diabetic would have it. Well I have since read there is a 33% (or higher) incidence of cancer in diabetics. 

SandiaBuddy's picture
SandiaBuddy
Posts: 860
Joined: Apr 2017

I tend to agree with you--this study was pretty limited and preliminary.  It is a good thing that diet drinks make me dizzy, so I never consumed them--plus, there was an old consumer reports article that said they had no correlation with weight loss.  There do seem to be some complex relationships between sugar, sugar metabolism and cancer.  

beaumontdave's picture
beaumontdave
Posts: 979
Joined: Aug 2013

Well before diagnosis I'd decided that regular consumption of sugary drinks was a bad habit, I switched to water, ice tea and coffee[with a splash of creamer]. If I have to choose other, it would be Gatorade or the like. Once you're clear of regular sugar drinks, they actually taste lousy and "sticky", though I'm still fond of the occasional ice cream, cake, or pie. Like red meat I don't eliminate things I enjoy, I just cut down on the quantity when and where I can. If they get definitive about a thing, like they seem to be regarding HPV, I'll make a change...........................................Dave

Summer91
Posts: 11
Joined: May 2019

Thank you for posting this study.  Reading through the study, I would note that the sample size was small, the median prospective follow up (5.1 years) was very short, the data was dependent on online questionaires with only voluntary clinical validation and the authors do not truly describe the actual mechanics of sugar on cancer progression.  And, what is the difference between consuming 6 oz of a 100%, no sugar-added, fruit drink (e.g., orange juice) and eating fruit, which is encouraged by every nutritional analysis?  Something seems off to me.  I also note the study concluded the following regarding colorectal cancer:

"During follow-up (493 884 person years, median follow-up time 5.1 years, range 0.003-8.8), 2193 first incident cases of cancer were diagnosed and validated, among which were 693 breast cancers (283 premenopausal, 410 postmenopausal), 291 prostate cancers, and 166 colorectal cancers."  Note that colorectal cancer had the lowest incidence.

No association was detected for prostate and colorectal cancers.

 

In line with our results, a recent meta-analysis observed no association for the risk of colorectal cancer,28 even though statistical power was limited for this cancer in our cohort. 

 As with many studies, an association does not mean causation.  A famous study in Germany found a strong association between the decrease in the stork population and a decrease in human births.  Wink

SandiaBuddy's picture
SandiaBuddy
Posts: 860
Joined: Apr 2017

Uh huh, Summer.  Everything I post is from the "for what it's worth" department.  I post things that I think others may find interesting.  Personally, looking at the risk/benefit aspect of drinking soda, I find no benefit, so I would rather not engage in the risk, even if it is not causal.

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