Sugary drinks linked to cancer growth.

The contribution of sugary drinks to the rise of obesity is well established and has been studied in some depth, but while we know that obesity increases the risk of cancer, new research has looked at an even more sinister issue: a link between sugary drinks and the accelerated growth of tumours in colorectal cancer.

In the study, researchers studied the effects of high-fructose corn syrup in mouse models of colorectal cancer. Using a solution of 25-percent high-fructose corn syrup – the type of sweetener commonly used as an ingredient in popular soft drinks – the scientists sought to confirm the link between dietary sugars and tumour progression while learning more about the process in operation.

The team conducted the research in mice with early-stage colorectal cancer. The results suggested that when the animals had early stage of tumours in the intestines, consuming even modest amounts of high-fructose corn syrup in liquid form could boost tumour growth and progression independently of obesity. Whether this fully translates to humans remains to be seen, but the researchers believe the findings in the animal models suggest that high consumption of sugary drinks may shorten the time it takes cancer to develop, with colorectal cancers utilising high-fructose corn syrup, the major ingredient in most sugary sodas and many other processed foods, as a fuel to increase rates of tumour growth.

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