A recent study led by researchers at the University of Minnesota found that people who drink two or more sweetened soft drinks a week have a much higher risk of pancreatic cancer, an unusual but deadly cancer (Reuters).
Soft drinks have been all over the news recently, and are often blamed for the increase in obesity and diabetes, especially among young people. For a while, some critics were even suggesting that cities implement a soft-drink tax to help offset related healthcare costs.
The study, which was conducted over 14 years and included over 60,000 participants in Singapore, found that those who consume two or more sweetened soft drinks per week have an 87 percent higher risk of pancreatic cancer.
“The high levels of sugar in soft drinks may be increasing the level of insulin in the body, which we think contributes to pancreatic cancer cell growth,” said Mark Pereira of the University of Minnesota, who led the study.
The study, which was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, found that over the course of the 14 year investigation, 140 of the volunteers who drank two or more soft drinks a day developed pancreatic cancer.
The study included a control group of people who drank mostly fruit juice instead of sodas, and they were not found to have the same risk of developing cancer.
Although this study concluded that drastically increased sugar levels likely contributed to the higher risk, researchers cautioned that people who drink sweetened sodas regularly often have other poor health habits that can lead to weight gain and other health complications.
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