Sugary drinks may increase the risk of cancer, a new study has revealed.
The research published in the British Medical Journal found that blood sugar levels are to be blamed for the increased risks.
The scientists at Université Sorbonne Paris Cité in France speculated that sugary drinks, with more than five percent sugar, that includes, fruit juice, soft drinks, sweetened milkshakes, energy drinks, tea and coffee with stirred sugar increase cancer risk by 18 percent.
The researchers also looked at diet drinks using zero-calorie artificial sweeteners instead of sugar but found no link with cancer.
The study followed more than 100,000 participants for five years. For every 1,000 people in the study, there were 22 cancers.
Of the 2,193 cancers found during the study, 693 were breast cancers, 291 were prostate cancers and 166 were colorectal cancers.
According to the research, drinking an extra 100ml of sugary drinks a day would result in four more cancers. Moreover, some chemicals in the beverages, such as those that give an appealing colour, may also increase the cancer risk.
“Sugary drinks are known to be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, overweight, obesity and diabetes. But what we show is they are also associated, maybe, with cancer risk,” said Dr Mathilde Touvier, one of the researchers.
“These data support the relevance of existing nutritional recommendations to limit sugary drink consumption, including 100 percent fruit juice, as well as policy actions, such as taxation and marketing restrictions targeting sugary drinks,” notes the research.
The researchers have however recommended that more large scale studies are needed to corroborate the findings.