Link suggested between sugary drinks and increased cancer risk found - study

A new study has suggested a link between sugary drinks and an increased risk of cancer.

According to the study, titled Sugary drink consumption and risk of cancer and published in the British Medical Journal, drinking an extra 100ml of a sugary drink per day is linked to an 18 percent increase in overall cancer risk and a 22 percent increase in breast cancer risk.

More than 100,000 healthy participants in the French study completed at least two 24-hour online validated dietary questionnaires, designed to measure usual intake of 3,300 different food and beverage items and were followed up for a maximum of nine years.

During follow-up, 2193 first cases of cancer were diagnosed and validated, with the average age of cancer diagnosis being 59 years.

The study found that the consumption of both fruit juices (including 100 percent fruit juices) and other sugary sodas and drinks were associated with a higher risk of cancer. 

Drinks that were artificially sweetened did not have the same effect, but the study's authors said this may be due to a relatively low consumption level of these drinks by the participants. 

The researchers said possible explanations for the results include the effect of sugar on fat around vital organs, blood sugar levels and inflammatory markers - all linked to increased cancer risk. Other chemical compounds, like additives in soda, may also play a role.

They also said that the study was an "observational" one and no definite cause was established. But the sample was large and it was adjusted for other potentially influential factors. More large studies are needed, the researchers said.

The researchers suggested that limiting sugary drink consumption, along with taxation and marketing restrictions, may contribute to a reduction in cancer cases.