Drinks with sugar linked to increased cancer risk

Two glasses of fruit juice a day may boost cancer risk by 50 per cent according to major study

Two glasses of fruit juice a day may boost cancer risk by 50 per cent according to major study

Drinks and fruit juices sweetened by sugar have the same increased risk also.

The study couldn't prove cause and effect, but it found that drinking as little as 3 to 4 ounces of sugary drinks each day was tied to an 18% rise in overall risk for cancer.

Almost 2,200 cases of cancer were diagnosed, with the average age at diagnosis being 59.

Some 21pc of the group were men and 79pc women.

The study, carried out in France, is the first substantial piece of research to find a specific association between sugar and cancer.

The participants, who were followed for a maximum of nine years, completed at least two 24-hour online validated dietary questionnaires, calculating their daily consumption of sugar and artificially sweetened beverages as well as 100 per cent fruit juices.

So, if they all drank an extra 100ml a day, it would result in four more cancers - taking the total to 26 per 1,000 per five years, according to the researchers. The team surveyed more than 100,000 adults, with an average of age of 42, 79% of whom were women.

Based on the data, the study found that drinking sugary beverages every day - including 100-percent fruit juice and other sweet liquids - was associated with higher rates of cancer, particularly breast cancer at 693 out of 2,193 cancer cases, prostate cancer at 291 cases, and colorectal cancer at 166 cases.

The connection between sugary drinks and cancer remained the same even after the team adjusted for age, sex, educational level, family history of cancer, smoking and physical activity, the researchers said.

The authors warned that this finding should be interpreted with caution, as this type of beverage had a relatively low consumption among the study participants.

"I find the biological plausibility of this hard, given there was no significant difference between groups in relation to body weight or incidence of diabetes, which is often cited as an associated risk", Catherine Collins, an NHS dietitian, said.

Meaning that no sugary drink is exempt from increasing your overall risk of cancer by 18%.

No - the way the study was designed means it can spot patterns in the data but cannot explain them.

But Touvier noted that when you compare the amount of sugar in a serving of fruit juice to soda, the drinks are remarkably alike, so it shouldn't be a shock that juices might hurt our long-term health.

The research found no link between diet beverages and cancer.

Fruit juices showed the same association with cancer as colas.

But this study is one of the first that aims to untangle the risky effects of sugar on the body from the consequences of weight gain, metabolic problems, and heart issues that are often a side effect of drinking sweet beverages. "Instead, rely on water to quench your thirst".

"It's important for people to know that all beverages - either with sugar or without are safe to consume as part of a balanced diet", Danielle Smotkin, a spokeswoman for the American Beverage Association said in a statement.

"The soft drinks industry recognises it has a role to play in helping to tackle obesity which is why we have led the way in calorie and sugar reduction".