A new study shows that drinking as little as two sodas per week significantly increases your risk of pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is dangerous because it is aggressive. There are usually few symptoms until the cancer is advanced. Symptoms include abdominal pain, weight loss, diarrhea, and jaundice.
People who drank two or more soft drinks a week had an 87% increased risk — or nearly twice the risk — of pancreatic cancer compared to individuals consuming no soft drinks,” says study lead author Noel T. Mueller, MPH, a research associate at the Cancer Control Program at Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, D.C. The study is published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
I am sure you will be surprised to know that they beverage industry took exception to this study calling it flawed and poorly designed. The study, however, was quite comprehensive. It looked at over 65,000 people and followed them for 14 years. The researchers hypothesized that the increase in cancer was as a result of poor insulin control. Drinking sugary sodas causes massive amounts of insulin to be released by the pancreas. Insulin, while a vital hormone needed to maintain life, is detrimental in excess. It’s already the main culprit in obesity and diabetes and has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Now researchers hypothesize it may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. There are other studies that show a positive correlation between intake of high fructose corn syrup, the main sweetener in soda, and pancreatic cancer as well.
A Dangerous Trend
While people are living longer and longer with cancer and cure rates are going up, the number of new cases of cancer is also going up. We are not doing anything that is helping to reduce the number of newly diagnosed cancers in this country. Perhaps part of the problem is soda. Consider the following:
According to the National Soft Drink Association (NSDA), consumption of soft drinks is now over 600 12-ounce servings (12 oz.) per person per year. Since 1978, soda consumption in the US has tripled for boys and doubled for girls. Young males age 12-29 are the biggest consumers at over 160 gallons per year—that’s almost 2 quarts per day. At these levels, the calories from soft drinks contribute as much as 10 percent of the total daily caloric intake for a growing boy. (From the Weston A. Price Foundation)
These numbers are mind boggling. The average person drinks 600 12 oz. servings per year! You have to remember that takes into account the people who don’t drink any soda because it is an average. I never drink soda so for that number to be that high, there has to be a lot of people drinking a lot of soda. Males aged 12-29 drink 160 gallons per year or 2 quarts per day. To put that into perspective, that’s just over 5 sodas per day. This study says that as little as two sodas per week is enough to significantly raise pancreatic cancer risk.
The soft drink industry is a large reason that this country is so unhealthy. Most people do not realize the amount of sugar in a soda. There is more sugar in one soda than in 1 bag of M&M’s. Most parents would not let their children it 5+ bags of M&M’s in a day but don’t think twice about letting them drink soda all day. One with breakfast, one with lunch, one with dinner and a couple in between for snacks and pretty soon a whole six pack of soda is gone. Good thing it’s cheap. That is also part of the problem. The availability of inexpensive soft drinks makes it that much easier to get. But here’s the funny thing – water is much cheaper! If people replaced their soda intake with good, clean, healthy water many of the health problems in this country would evaporate.
Do yourself a huge favor; if you drink soda, stop. I have had many patients with health issues and cutting out the sugary drinks is a must. The soft drink industry would have you believe you can be a healthy individual and enjoy soda, but it isn’t true. Just like the tobacco industry used to tell you smoking in moderation wasn’t bad for your health, the soda industry will continue to perpetuate the lie until they are forced to change. Even if we forget about all the other bad aspects of soda – the acidity, the preservatives, the additives – and just consider the sugar, it’s a dangerous product. Don’t drink it if you value your health or your family’s health.