Regular consumption of too many sweet drinks, that is, more than a glass of soda or fruit juice a day, can contribute to the appearance of cancer, says a large study published on Thursday.
In recent decades, increasing use of sugary beverages around the world has been associated with an increased risk of obesity, an important risk factor for developing cancer.
Researchers from France wanted to assess the association, to the least studied date, between sugary drinks and the risk of developing cancer.
"We found that an increase in the consumption of sweet drinks was positively related to the overall risk of developing breast cancer and breast cancer," the authors of the study, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), point out.
The simple "increase of 100 ml per day on the average in the consumption of sweet drinks, corresponding to a cup or almost one third of the standard jar (33 cl), is associated with a 18% increase in the risk of cancer. Mathilde Touvier (Mathilde Touvier), Director of the Erien Epidemiology Research Group (Inserm / Cnam, Paris).
Increase by 22% in breast cancer.
The risk is similar for alcoholic beverages or fruit juices without adding sugar. These two types of beverages are associated with a higher risk of cancer as a whole, according to the study.
The results indicate a 30 percent increase in the diagnosis of "all types of cancer" in the group that consumes more sugary drinks than in the group that consumes less.
However, the study does not allow to demonstrate cause-and-effect problems, although it suggests a "significant association," explains AFP researcher. Also, factors (age, lifestyle, physical activity, tobacco …) were taken into account that could affect the results.
"It's sugar that appears to play a leading role in this association with cancer," which seems to be not due solely to the fact that participants in the study received more fat.
On the contrary, the study did not reveal any relationship between the use of artificial sweetened drinks (with sweeteners) and the risk of developing cancer, according to authors.
But the statistical power of the analysis on this issue is certainly limited, since consumption of this kind of beverages among the studied population is relatively weak.
In other words, the fact that no link was found in the study does not necessarily mean that there is no risk, explains the scientist.
"Sweeteners are not an alternative and are not clearly recommended in the long run," adds Tuv.
So it is better to "lower sugar". Recommendation in France less [vasito] fruit juice a day ", for example, remember.
Sweet beverage contains at least 5% sugar, so 100 ml of pure orange juice without sugar will have about 10 grams of sugar (about two cubes, approximately) and much more nectar, he says.
The researchers questioned over 100,000 adults who participated in the French study NutriNet-Santé, who was on average 42 years old and 79% were women.
The participants, who were observed for nineteen years (2009-2018), completed at least two online questionnaires on their diet and the daily use of sweet drinks (including 100% fruit juice) or artificially sweetened beverages.
While the study was conducted, 2193 cases of cancer were found in people with an average of 59 years.
For authors, the results "confirm that nutrition recommendations for limiting the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, including 100% fruit juice, as well as political measures, such as rates and trade restrictions," are relevant. "