Sugary drinks linked to higher risk of cancer

Now there’s more reason than ever to cut back on the sugary drinks we’ve come to love. 

While we have long been aware that sugar sweetened beverages have high levels of sugar and significantly contribute to tooth decay and issues with obesity, a new study shows that they may also lead to a higher risk of cancer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC), sugar-sweetened beverages or sugary drinks are leading sources of added sugars in the American diet. On average, U.S. youth consume 143 calories and U.S. adults consume 145 calories from such drinks on a given day.

Guzzling a small glass of 100 percent fruit juice or soda, (about 3.3 ounce), each day was linked to an 18 percent increased risk of cancer and a 22 percent increase in breast cancer in a study, according to a study published in the BMJ medical journal. 

French researchers examined more than 100,000 adults with an average age of 42 over a period of nine years with women making up seventy-nine percent of participants. The study tracked ninety-seven sugary drinks and 12 artificially sweetened beverages, including soda, sports drinks, energy drinks and 100 percent fruit juices with no added sugar. Participants filled out at least two 24-hour online validated dietary questionnaires, which calculated their daily consumption of sugary beverages.

Researchers measured the daily intakes of sugary drinks against those of diet beverages and compared them to cancer cases in participants’ medical records during the follow-up period.

While nearly 2,200 cases of cancer were diagnosed, (with an average age at diagnosis being 59), the study stops short of concluding that the sugar causes cancer, however it does imply that limiting your daily intake of sugary drinks isn’t a bad idea.

If you’re someone who sticks to low calorie or diet beverages, although these types of drinks don’t have the same overall health consequences, bear in mind that most have high acid levels that promote tooth erosion.

Some tips that will help you keep the damage to your teeth to a minimum include:

  • Drink water after sugary or acidic drinks to help rinse out your mouth and dilute the sugars.
  • Protect your teeth by using fluoride toothpaste.
  • After drinking sugary or acidic beverages, don’t brush your teeth right away. Wait at least one hour so your teeth can recover and your enamel can reharden before you take the brush to them.
  • Do not sip a sugary or acidic drink slowly or over a long duration. Doing so exposes your teeth to sugar and acid attacks for longer.
  • Never drink sugary or acidic drinks before you go to bed – if you do so, the liquid will pool in your mouth, coating your teeth with sugar and acid.

If you frequently consume sugary or acidic beverages and are concerned about the harmful effects of on your dental health, it’s time to talk with a professional. 

Taking good care of your teeth and gums, along with keeping up with cleanings and checkups will have a significant impact in the long run.

American Dental Group is a family-owned Colorado company partnering with independent, hometown dentists to deliver high quality dental care to our members. 

See how American Dental Group members save 20 – 58 percent on outstanding dental care with no deductible, no annual maximums, and no waiting period.

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