A study published in the journal Gut, has found that sugar-sweetened drinks (be it fruit juices made from artificial flavouring, sodas, energy drinks, etc) can increase the risk of bowel cancer significantly.
Double the risk of bowel cancer
According to the research, adults who find themselves sipping on these drinks more than twice a day can be doubling their chances of developing this deadly type of cancer. This was especially found to be true in those younger than 50 years of age.
To carry out the study, researchers sampled 95,464 participants over the span of 24 years and looked into their genetic makeup and lifestyle choices. Scientists found that 109 women developed bowel cancer before turning 50 years old as a result of heavier intake of sugar-filled beverages.
What's more, each serving of an artificially sweetened drink increased the chances of bowel cancer by 16% and this figure only rose to 32% in those consuming these beverages during teenage-hood. Experts concluded that:
Reducing intake and/or [substitution] with other healthier beverages among adolescents and young adults may serve as a potential actionable strategy to alleviate the growing burden of bowel cancer before the age of 50.
Bowel cancer in the UK
Bowel cancer is a disease that starts in the form of a pre-cancerous growth called a polyps in the large intestine. It is responsible for killing about 16,000 Brits each year and has strong ties to what we eat and drink on a daily basis.
If caught early enough, it can be cured. But perhaps the most effective way of avoiding bowel cancer is leading a healthy lifestyle which includes a balanced diet, regular exercise and adequate sleep.