A Soda a Day…Can Bring the Cancer Your Way

Carole McFaddan

This week, the AFP Newsroom in Washington reported of a study performed in Singapore that shows a link between drinking soda and developing cancer. Pancreatic cancer is one of the most rapidly fatal cancers in adults, with less than five percent of its patients surviving more than five years after diagnosis.

The study reported that people who drink at least two sugary sodas a week have a heightened risk of developing cancer, especially pancreatic cancer, due to the drink’s sugar. This data was analyzed from over 60,000 Chinese adults who drank two or more sugar-sweetened soft drinks a week diet. The study determined that such individuals were at a greater risk of developing pancreatic cancer compared with individuals who did not. There has not yet been a link found between juice and cancer.

While previous studies have only looked at the effects of soda and juice in Europeans and Americans, this study was the first to look at the development of pancreatic cancer in Asians, whose diet and lifestyle are becoming more and more “western”. The study reported that participants not only in Singapore but also in America and Europe who consumed two or more sodas per week tended to be younger men who smoke, eat more red meat, eat higher-calorie diets, drink alcohol, and are less physically active.

Although the findings were adjusted for these dietary factors that have also been linked with pancreatic cancer, “the adjustments did not change the link between soda and the cancer risk,” said Mark Pereira of the University of Minnesota’s division of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Pereira told AFP “We suspect sugar is the culprit, but we cannot prove it from this study.” More research will be needed to look into sports drinks and diet sodas.

So the lesson learned is slow down, or even stop, your soda intake. Fizzy drinks are the leading source of added sugar in the US diet and are a large contributor to hyperglycemia and high insulin in your blood. The reason sodas can cause pancreatic cancer is because your pancreas produces insulin and helps regulate sugar – get it now?