sugary beverages and drinks linked to colon cancer

This Drink Can Spike Your Risk of Colorectal Cancer, Study Says

Nope, it’s not whiskey. (Thank god.)

Your sweet tooth may be raising your risk of dying of colorectal cancer, depending on how frequently you indulge it with sugary drinks, a new study claims. 

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition released findings from researchers from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health (among other institutions) that show a link between folks who consumed higher amounts of sugary drinks, like soda, and incidents of colorectal cancer that resulted in death. More than 120,000 U.S. participants were studied, and had their overall fructose intake measured, alongside additional sugar-added beverages. 

“[Sugar-sweetened beverages] and total fructose consumption were associated with increased incidence and mortality of proximal colon cancer, particularly during later stages of tumorigenesis,” concluded the study authors. Proximal colon cancer is cancer that strikes between the first and middle sections of your colon, while tumorigenesis refers to the early stages of a tumor growing. 

Basically, if you’re chugging soda or other sugary drinks on the regular, you could not only be more likely to develop colorectal cancer, but there may be a greater likelihood that it will kill you. The study authors note that more research is needed on the topic, but that these findings support findings of recent animal-subject studies on similar topics. 

The conclusion? Trim back the amount of sugar in your drinks, and watch your overall sugar intake. (Is that any surprise?) This is just one of the latest clinical examinations of the negative impacts added sugar has on your body, your longevity, and your life.

What Can You Do? Simple Swaps

One of the cohort groups within the study was people who are drinking more than six sugar-added beverages per day. That’s a staggering volume of sucrose-laced liquid. If you’re within that subset of folks who can’t resist a sweet soda or the extra syrup in your Starbucks, try weaning off the added sugars slowly. 

Easy swaps stack up in the long run. Instead of four syrup pumps in your coffee, cut it down to two squirts. Instead of that fourth soda, try soda water and add some flavor drops like Bubly to recreate the soda taste profiles you enjoy. (Heck, try Bubly’s canned sparkling waters, too. They’re delicious and free of artificial sweeteners like aspartame.)