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Soda Consumption Raises Cancer Risk

5/24/2013 12:00:00 PM

Tags: soda, prostate cancer, sugar, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, Nation of Change, Mike Barrett

Reposted with permission from Nation of Change.

Soda is quite possibly the most vilified food/beverage on the market, and for good reason. The beverage offers zero nutritional value, all while increasing the risk of countless diseases. But even with everything we know as a society, soda sales continue upward, and so do the number of studies showcasing the negative effects of the popular drink. According to one recent study, consuming about one soda per day increases a man’s risk of prostate cancer by 40 percent compared to someone who never touches the beverage.

The Swedish study, coming from Lund University and recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, focused on the associations between carbohydrates and their food sources in regards to prostate cancer risk. The researchers followed 8,128 men ages 45 to 73 for an average of 15 years. All were reported to be in good health.Soda bottles

Overall, it was found 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 300 milliliters of soda each day (slightly less than one can) were more likely to develop the type of prostate cancer that requires treatment.

“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,” lead researcher Dr. Isabel Drake said.

In addition to the concerning association between soda consumption and increased prostate cancer risk, the researchers also found that men consuming a high amount of carbohydrates from wheat, rice and pasta increased their risk of developing milder forms of prostate cancer by 31 percent. These forms typically required no treatment. Men consuming sugary breakfast cereals saw a 38 percent increase in developing milder forms of prostate cancer as well.

Also outlining an association between soda and increased cancer risk, another study from University of Minnesota School of Public Health found that 87 percent of the approximately 60,000 test subjects were likely to develop pancreatic cancer, and soda played a role.

“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,” Noel Mueller, a University of Minnesota School of Public Health doctorate student and first author on Pereira’s study, told AlterNet.

With soda increasing your risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and even cancer, it’s more important than ever to reduce soda consumption on a national and global level. The average person is consuming 300 percent more sugar than recommended each day, while kids are taking in 7 trillion calories of sugar from soda each year. By dropping the cola, you can dramatically reduce your risk of countless ailments and improve overall health exponentially.

Photo by fotolia/Markus Mainka

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