by Dr. Leo Galland
A study from the University of Minnesota looked at the data for 60,000 Chinese men and women who were followed for 14 years and found that drinking two or more soft drinks a week was associated with near-doubling of the incidence of pancreatic cancer compared with people who never had soft drinks. The consumption of soft drinks coincided with a number of other unhealthy lifestyle characteristics, making it somewhat difficult to separate smoking, caloric intake, body weight, and type 2 diabetes from soft drink consumption.
A previous study from the University of California at San Francisco published in the journal Cancer Causes & Control found that consumption of low-calorie soft drinks increased the risk of pancreatic cancer among men.
A laboratory study done at the European Foundation for Oncology and Environmental Sciences in Italy found that rats fed daily the sugar-containing soft drink Coca-Cola were more likely to develop benign and malignant pancreatic tumors. The European research, published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, cautioned that “On the basis of the results of this study, excessive consumption of regular soft-drinks should be generally discouraged, in particular for children and adolescents.” (Belpoggi et. al)
References and Abstracts:
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010 Feb;19(2):447-55. Soft drink and juice consumption and risk of pancreatic cancer: the singapore chinese health study.
Mueller NT, Odegaard A, Anderson K, Yuan JM, Gross M, Koh WP, Pereira MA. Corresponding Author: Mark A. Pereira, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, 1300 South Second Street, Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55454. email@example.com.
BACKGROUND: Sugar-sweetened carbonated beverages (called soft drinks) and juices, which have a high glycemic load relative to other foods and beverages, have been hypothesized as pancreatic cancer risk factors. However, data thus far are scarce, especially from non-European descent populations. We investigated whether higher consumption of soft drinks and juice increases the risk of pancreatic cancer in Chinese men and women.
METHODS: A prospective cohort analysis was done to examine the association between soft drink and juice consumption and the risk of pancreatic cancer in 60,524 participants of the Singapore Chinese Health Study with up to 14 years of follow-up. Information on consumption of soft drinks, juice, and other dietary items, as well as lifestyle and environmental exposures, was collected through in-person interviews at recruitment. Pancreatic cancer cases and deaths were ascertained by record linkage of the cohort database with records of population-based Singapore Cancer Registry and the Singapore Registry of Births and Deaths.
RESULTS: The first 14 years for the cohort resulted in cumulative 648,387 person-years and 140 incident pancreatic cancer cases. Individuals consuming >/=2 soft drinks/wk experienced a statistically significant increased risk of pancreatic cancer (hazard ratio, 1.87; 95% confidence interval, 1.10-3.15) compared with individuals who did not consume soft drinks after adjustment for potential confounders. There was no statistically significant association between juice consumption and risk of pancreatic cancer.
CONCLUSION: Regular consumption of soft drinks may play an independent role in the development of pancreatic cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 19(2); 447-55.
Cancer Causes Control. 2009 Aug;20(6):835-46. Sweets, sweetened beverages, and risk of pancreatic cancer in a large population-based case-control study.
Chan JM, Wang F, Holly EA. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
OBJECTIVE: We examined the associations between sweets, sweetened and unsweetened beverages, and sugars and pancreatic cancer risk.
METHODS: We conducted a population-based case-control study (532 cases, 1,701 controls) and used multivariate logistic regression models to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Because associations were often different by sex, we present results for men and women combined and separately.
RESULTS: Among men, greater intakes of total and specific sweets were associated with pancreatic cancer risk (total sweets: OR = 1.9, 95% CI: 1.0, 3.6; sweet condiments: OR = 1.9, 95% CI: 1.2, 3.1; chocolate candy: OR = 2.4, 95% CI: 1.1, 5.0; other mixed candy bars: OR = 3.3, 95% CI: 1.5, 7.3 for 1 + servings/day versus none/rarely). Sweets were not consistently associated with risk among women. Sweetened beverages were not associated with increased pancreatic cancer risk. In contrast, low-calorie soft drinks were associated with increased risk among men only; while other low-/non-caloric beverages (e.g., coffee, tea, and water) were unassociated with risk. Of the three sugars assessed (lactose, fructose, and sucrose), only the milk sugar lactose was associated with pancreatic cancer risk (OR = 2.0, 95% CI: 1.5, 2.7 comparing extreme quartiles).
CONCLUSION: These results provide limited support for the hypothesis that sweets or sugars increase pancreatic cancer risk
Ann NY Acad Sci. 2006 Sep;1076:736-52. Results of long-term carcinogenicity bioassays on Coca-Cola administered to Sprague-Dawley rats.
Belpoggi F, Soffritti M, Tibaldi E, Falcioni L, Bua L, Trabucco F. Cesare Maltoni Cancer Research Center, European Foundation for Oncology and Environmental Sciences B. Ramazzini, 40010 Bentivoglio, Italy.
Coca-Cola was invented in May 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia by a pharmacist who, by accident or design, mixed carbonated water with the syrup of sugar, phosphoric acid, caffeine, and other natural flavors to create what is known as "the world’s favorite soft drink." Coca-Cola is currently sold in more than 200 countries and in early 2000, the company sold its 10 billionth unit case of Coca-Cola branded products. Given the worldwide consumption of Coca-Cola, a project of experimental bioassays to study its long-term effects when administered as substitute for drinking water on male and female Sprague-Dawley rats was planned and executed. The objective of the project was to study whether and how long-term consumption of Coca-Cola affects the basic tumorigram of test animals. The bioassays were performed on rats beginning at different ages, namely: (a) on males and females exposed since embryonic life or from 7 weeks of age; and (b) on males and females exposed from 30, 39, or 55 weeks of age. Overall, the project included 1999 rats. During the biophase, data were collected on fluid and feed consumption, body weight, and survival. Animals were kept under observation until spontaneous death and underwent complete necropsy. The results indicate: (a) an increase in body weight in all treated animals; (b) a statistically significant increase of the incidence in females, both breeders and offspring, bearing malignant mammary tumors; (c) a statistically significant increase in the incidence of exocrine adenomas of the pancreas in both male and female breeders and offspring; and (d) an increased incidence, albeit not statistically significant, of pancreatic islet cell carcinomas in females, a malignant tumor which occurs very rarely in our historical controls. On the basis of the results of this study, excessive consumption of regular soft-drinks should be generally discouraged, in particular for children and adolescents.