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Soft drinks may not be harmless

Consuming two or more soft drinks led to an 87% increased risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a University of Minnesota study.

04 Apr 2010
Consuming two or more soft drinks led to an 87% increased risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a University of Minnesota study that followed more than 60,000 male and female subjects over 14 years in the longitudinal Singapore Chinese Health Study.

Prof Mark Pereira, lead author of the report on the study - published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention - suggests that the high levels of sugar in soft drinks may increase the level of insulin in the body, which is thought to contribute to growth of pancreatic cancer cells.

The finding of the study has been treated with caution, however.

Prof Pereira himself noted that people who drank soft drinks regularly tended to have "a poor behavioural profile" and Prof Susan Mayne from the Yale School of Public Health (and a member of the journal's editorial board) said that the finding was based on a relatively small number of cases and that it was unclear whether or not the study had established that the association was causal.

The study found no association between the disease and fruit juice.


Published: 04 Apr 2010