Two sodas a day raises cancer risk, study finds

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By Allie Shah, Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Here’s one more reason to consider cutting back on the soda: drinking too many sugary drinks on a daily basis has been linked to gallbladder cancer.

Swedish researchers studied the eating and drinking habits of more than 70,000 adults, keeping an eye out for cancer diagnoses. They found that people who downed two or more sodas (including ones with artificial sweetener) or juice beverages a day doubled their risk of developing gallbladder tumors compared with people who abstained from sweetened drinks.

What’s more, the heavy soda drinkers also had 79 percent higher risk of having biliary tract cancer, according to the study, which was published recently in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

And those who had two or more sugary drinks a day tended to be overweight and ate a less-healthy diet — one with more calories, sugar and carbohydrates and less protein and fat, the researchers noted.

People with a history of diabetes or cancer were left out of the study.

While the results do not prove that sugary drinks cause cancer, researchers stressed, there is evidence that the risk is higher for people who drink a lot of heavily sweetened beverages.

“These findings support the hypothesis that high consumption of sweetened beverages may increase the risk of biliary tract cancers, particularly gallbladder cancer,” the scientists from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden concluded.

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