People who drink two or more sweetened soft drinks a week have an 87% higher risk of pancreatic cancer, an unusual but deadly cancer, according to a study published in the Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention journal this month.
People who drank mostly fruit juice instead of sodas did not have the same risk, the study of 60,000 people in Singapore found.
“The high levels of sugar in soft drinks may be increasing the level of insulin in the body, which we think contributes to pancreatic cancer cell growth,” said Mark Pereira of the University of Minnesota, who led the study, in a statement. Insulin, which helps the body metabolize sugar, is made in the pancreas. Sugar may be to blame for fuelling the tumours, but people who drink sweetened sodas regularly often have other poor health habits, he added.