Correlation Found Between Sugary Drinks and Tumor Growth

The research reiterates the health issues of consuming too much sugar in one’s diet.
Donovan Alexander

It is estimated that people who consume sugary drinks regularly, averaging 1-2 cans a day, have a 26% higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes than people who rarely consume such drinks, according to a report by the World Health Organization.  

You probably are already aware of how bad sugary drinks are for your health. There are multiple studies that point to the long term detrimental health effects of having too much sugar in your diet. From diabetes to obesity, the consumption of sugary soft drinks is a place of serious concern.


However, there could be something more sinister attached to the consumption of sweet drinks. Researchers have found that drinking sugary drinks could be acting as fuel in the formation and development of cancerous tumors.

Too Much Sugar

Led by a team of researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine and Weill Cornell Medicine, the team studied the daily consumption of about 12 ounces of sugar-sweetened beverages in the mice.

What they found is that the mice who consumed this modest amount of high-fructose drinks had an accelerated growth of intestinal tumors. What is more interesting is that during the experiment they put into place measures to keep the mice from gaining weight, keeping obesity independent from the health ailments.

The Sweet Study

Using mice that had developed intestinal early-stage tumors called polyps, the team went on to test the effect of consuming sugar-sweetened water on tumor development. The sugar water consisted of 25 percent of high-fructose corn syrup.


The researchers made efforts to keep the mice from gaining weight during the study so they controlled the amount of sugar water that the mice had each day, limiting to what is the equivalent of a person of 2 cans of a soft drink a day. The mice did not gain weight by the end of the study, however, their tumors did continue to grow, creating tumors that were larger and “higher grade.”

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"This observation in animal models might explain why increased consumption of sweet drinks and other foods with high sugar content over the past 30 years is correlating with an increase in colorectal cancers in 25 to 50-year-olds in the United States,” said co-corresponding author Dr. Jihye Yun, assistant professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor.

Aside from pointing to fructose as food for cancer, the research highlights potentially new novel treatments. Nevertheless, the Baylor team wants to further explore this research.

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