Can sugary fruit juices raise cancer risk?

Image for illustration purposes only

Image for illustration purposes only

"They suggest that sugary drinks, which are widely consumed in Western countries, might represent a modifiable risk factor for cancer prevention", they said.

They added that their findings could support existing recommendations to limit sugary drink consumption, as well as policy actions such as taxation and marketing restrictions that targeted sugary drinks.

The team also studied slimming drinks that used zero-calorie artificial sweeteners instead of sugar, but did not find them linked to cancer.

100 mL per day increase in consumption of sugary drinks was found to be associated with an 18% increased risk for overall cancer, and a 22% increased risk for breast cancer; fruit juice and sugary drink consumption were found to be associated with higher risk of overall cancer; and consumption of artificially sweetened beverages was not associated with a risk of cancer, although it was noted that there was relatively low consumption of artificially sweetened beverages in this study sample.

This is an observational study, so it doesn't establish cause, and the authors say they can not rule out some misclassification of beverages or guarantee the detection of every new cancer case.

"However, this assumes that there is a genuine causal link between sugary drink intake and developing cancer and this still needs further research", said Dr Graham Wheeler, statistician University College London.

Touvier said her team observed that sugar seemed to be the main driver of the link.

Another possibility is that additives, such as 4-methylimidazole, which is found in drinks that contain caramel coloring, could play a role in cancer formation.

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Average daily consumption of sugary drinks is greater in men than in women.

Well, that's terrifying - "sugary drinks" includes 100% fruit juices.

In an emailed statement, Gavin Partington, director general of the British Soft Drinks Association - which represents manufacturers including Coca-Cola and PepsiCo - agreed with the ABA that soft drinks were safe to consume as part of a balanced diet. Beverage companies are working to provide more choices with reduced or no sugar, smaller package sizes and clear calorie information, according to the industry group. The most notable part of this study is the amount: 100 ml is just a little over 3 ounces. Risk of breast cancer is also increased by alcohol - the more you drink, the more likely you get the disease.

To reach these conclusions, the nutritional epidemiology research team at Inserm followed the eating habits of more than 100,000 people for nine years (78% women and 21% men).

The participants completed at least two 24-hour online validated dietary questionnaires.

It's not a new thing that people all around the world like to consume sugary drinks. Scientists have, however, taken into account socio-demographic and lifestyle data of volunteers (age, sex, alcohol consumption, level of education, physical activity, etc.).

However, this study is observational and doesn't show cause and effect.

The French researchers say the link "was strongly driven by sugar content" and they blame blood sugar levels.

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