Consuming sugary drinks such as fruit juices, fizzy drinks, milkshakes and even sweetened tea and coffee could increase the risk of cancer. In fact, it would be sufficient to drink a couple of cans a week (100 milliliters per day) to develop an 18 percent risk increase. This was determined by a French research team coordinated by scientists from the Epidemiological and Statistical Research Center of Paris (CRESS), who collaborated with colleagues from the Department of Public Health at the Avicenne Hospital and the French Public Health Agency.

Prospective study

 The scientists, coordinated by Professor Mathilde Touvier from the University of Paris, came to their conclusions after conducting a statistical analysis on over 100 thousand people, all of whom were part of the French NutriNet-Santé cohort (2009-2017). The participants were followed for an average follow-up period of 5.1 years, all were aged 18 or over and the average was 42 years old. Touvier and colleagues submitted food questionnaires and analyzed medical records to detect associations with cancer.

The results

Crossing all the data, it emerged that 2,193 cancer cases were diagnosed among the participants (22 cases per thousand subjects). Among them 693 were breast tumors; 291 prostate tumors and 166 colorectal cancers, three of the most common and deadly cancers. Analyzing the consumption of sugary drinks showed that those who consumed more (185 milliliters and more per week) had a risk of developing cancer significantly higher than those who consumed less than 30 milliliters. Two cans of 500 milliliters per week would be enough to have a risk increased by almost 20 percent. Touvier and colleagues also looked for associations with cancer with dietetic and sweetened beverages, but found none.

To be confirmed

Since the type of study does not highlight cause and effect relationships between the consumption of sugary drinks and the development of cancer, it is the authors of the research themselves who underline that it is better not to reach hasty conclusions. The results must in fact be confirmed by more detailed specific research. The reason why sugary drinks could trigger cancer lies in the glycemic peaks that determine in the blood, which in turn could trigger cancer processes, but it is still to be proven. The link with obesity is not excluded, which in turn is associated with an increased risk of developing at least ten types of neoplasms. Recent studies have found an association between consumption of sugary drinks with stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases, but also with the violent behavior of children. The details of the new research have been published in the authoritative The British Medical Journal.