Cancer causing agents, or carcinogens are many. Adding to the list may be soda, or more correctly, sugared drinks, perhaps the sugar itself. This is the conclusion of two studies into sugared drinks like soda and juice. One study was conducted by Weill Cornell Medical College Cornell University and the other through the French Public Health Agency. Both drew the same conclusion, namely, that although the exact mechanisms remain uncertain, those who consume sugared drinks are at a greater risk for developing cancer.
Cancer Study of 101,257 Adults Over 9 Years
In the French study, researchers analyzed data from another titled the NutriNet-Sante cohort study. The purpose of that study was to obtain general and specific health data across a broad range of products. Researchers were able to account for other factors like exercise and cigarette smoking. They found that those who participated had a 18% increased risk of developing cancer. They were not able to draw conclusions on all cancers but did find that the risk of breast cancer increased to 22%.
In addition, there seemed to be no connection between an increased risk of developing cancer and the use of artificial sweeteners. However, the team also cautioned that the possibility that other products contained in the drinks could have also been factors. Thus, while the study appeared to indicate a higher risk of cancer when people consume sugary drinks, more studies are needed to make a conclusive statement.
Dr. Lewis Cantley and the Quest Involving PI3K
In the 1980s, Tufts University School of Medicine identified an enzyme known as phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K). Today, that enzyme is a known switch for certain cancers. It is also related to the development of Type II diabetes because PI3K acts as an alert to cells that insulin is present. This permits the body to regulate the amount of glucose which passes from one part of the body to others. It seems that this enzyme also plays a pivotal role in how cancer cells are fed.
Dr. Lewis Cantley was a professor at Tufts when that enzyme was discovered. Since that time, he has conducted numerous studies to better understand the correlation between the enzyme, insulin, glucose, and sugars. In his latest study, he found that the bio-chemical pathways created by PI3K when excess sugar is consumed leads to an increase in cell mutations and thereafter, the feeding of growing tumors. His belief is that through the use of PI3K inhibitors, it may be possible to starve cancer.
Sugar, Sugar Everywhere and All is There to Drink
Dr. Cantley swore off added sugar decades ago. The French researchers noted a correlation between the increase in sugar-added products, especially sodas, and cancer over time. According to both, the evidence is continuing to mount that sugary drinks are a strong contributing factor to cancer in many people. Whether the case or not will require further studies and testing. If correct, these studies could prove useful both preventing cancer and treating the disease.
At Kymera Independent Physicians, we watch such studies closely. We regularly engage in our own independent and collaborative studies because we are serious about fighting cancer. This is also why we have a highly-trained oncology team to treat every patient. For over 22 years, we have been leading the fight against cancer in Southeastern New Mexico by providing a better healthcare experience.