We know that reducing soda consumption can drastically reduce obesity and diabetes rates, but could such a simple dietary adjustment also reduce cancer rates? According to a Swedish study from Lund University published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, simply drinking one can of soda each day increases a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer by 40 percent compared to a man who never indulges in the sugary beverages.
“When it comes to studies of soda consumption and chronic disease risk, the only superior alternative to a prospective cohort study would be to conduct a randomized, controlled trial, where you assign one group to drink high amounts soda over 20 years, and the other group to not consume soda,” senior researcher Isabel Drake, who led Lund University’s soda cancer study, said.
“This, of course, is unethical and never going to be feasible. There are situations like this one, to assess for causal associations between soda consumption and cancer or other chronic diseases, where observational studies are realistically the best study design to address causal associations.”
Overall, the research found that that fast-releasing carbohydrates and sugary drinks increased the risk of the most aggressive forms of prostate cancer. But for soda specifically, the researchers found that men who drank 300ml of soda each day were more likely to develop the type of prostate cancer which required treatment.
Lead researcher Dr. Isabel Drake commented by saying “among the men who drank a lot of soft drinks or other drinks with added sugar, we saw an increased risk of prostate cancer of around 40 percent.”
Additionally, the researchers found that:
- Men consuming a high amount of carbohydrates from wheat, rice and pasta increased risk of developing mild prostate cancer by 31%, typically requiring no treatment.
- Men consuming sugary breakfast cereals saw a 38% increase in developing milder forms of prostate cancer as well.
Noel Mueller, University of Minnesota School of Public Health Ph.D. student and first author on Pereira’s study, told AlterNet:
“The important take away from our study is that habitual consumption of soft drinks may be linked to an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.”
In response to any criticisms, I’d like to point out that our results align with a recent Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health meta-analysis of studies on this topic, including ours, which found that soft drink consumption was indeed positively associated with pancreatic cancer risk.”
Of course this isn’t the only research outlining the dangers of soda. Research from University of Minnesota School of Public Health found that 87 percent of more than 60,000 test subjects were likely to develop pancreatic cancer, whose median survival for 80 percent of afflicted individuals hovers between six to 10 months. The soda-cancer warning signs continue to siren.
Another study shows how consuming only one soda or sugar-sweetened beverage per day can result in a 20 percent increased risk of coronary heart disease in men.
It’s a good thing the health movement is leading more people to go soda-free, gouging sales for mega-corps which just don’t care about our health.