Everyone knows that sugar is bad for us; but oh, how it tastes so sweet!
While this dangerous sweet treat is detrimental to our health, people all around the globe can’t seem to get enough. If the human race cannot get a grip on their sugar consumption, there are serious consequences lurking in the shadows.
That’s why scientists everywhere are trying to reveal the connection between sugary drinks and cancer, specifically the scientists in Sweden.
According to Reuter’s Health, people who drink a lot of sugary beverages may have a higher risk of developing cancers in the gallbladder and bile ducts of the liver. While little is known about the major causes of such cancers, emerging evidence has begun to suggest that obesity and elevated blood sugar levels are increasing with repeated use of these sugary beverages.
Considering sodas and drinks highly saturated with sugar are typically linked to diseases such as diabetes, where increased blood pressure and obesity are common occurrences, a lead researcher from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden (Susanna Larsson) wonders if the two might be linked.
In order to play with this possibility, the researchers analyzed survey data from 70,000 adults regarding their eating and drinking habits. Over the course of 13 years the scientists took note of which cancers, if any, appeared on the test individuals.
According to the results, only 150 people developed biliary tract or gallbladder cancers. These results were then compared with people who avoided sugary beverages completely, and what was discovered was quite impressive. Those people who drank more juice drinks or soda, along with artificially sweetened drinks, had more than twice the amount of risk of developing gallbladder tumors with a 79 percent increased odds in getting biliary tract cancer.
According to Larsson, this study is the “first study to show a strong link between consumption of sweetened beverages, such as soda, and risk of biliary tract cancer”.
Such a statement should be taken seriously as these beverages are a constant in our society. At the start of the study, a survey was given to the participants in order to gauge how many sodas or juice drinks they had consumed in the past week along with an estimate of how many they consume within a year.
Their answers revealed that in 1997, these participants were 61 years old on average with half overweight and 25 percent current smokers; people with a previous cancer diagnosis or diabetes were excluded from the study.
Although the results were staggering, the findings do not prove soda or sugary drinks to be a cause of cancer because the study was merely observational.
However, according to Dr. Margo Denke, a former researcher at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, even though she wasn’t a part of this study it does “suggest that there is more than a plausible link; the incidence of biliary and gallbladder cancer was higher among individuals who consumed more soda and juices”.
Despite the true reasons for a connection between sugary beverages and these cancers being unclear, the message for consumers is really quite simple. Regardless of what may cause these cancers, the best way to go about avoiding them is to drink lots of water, stay fit, and maintain an overall healthy lifestyle.