Friday, August 8, 2008

Scary News If You Like Sugar in Coffee

If you like your coffee or tea sweet and spend the day sipping soft drinks, all that sugar you're consuming gives you a far higher risk of developing cancer of the pancreas, one of the most deadly types of cancer, according to a large study from Sweden.

Reuters reports that between 1997 and 2005, researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm examined the diets of nearly 80,000 men and women, 131 of whom developed pancreatic cancer. They determined that the amount of sugar in the diet is related to the risk of getting this type of cancer.

Here are the specific risks:

  • Those who drink carbonated or syrup-based drinks twice a day or more have a 90 percent higher risk of developing cancer of the pancreas than those who never drink them.
  • People who add sugar to coffee, tea and other drinks about five times a day or more have a 70 percent higher risk.
  • Eating extra sugary, sweet desserts once a day ups the risk 50 percent. (In this study, the researchers focused on a single dessert called creamed fruit, a sugary, fruit-based dessert that is very popular in Sweden.)

"Despite the fact that the chances of developing pancreatic cancer are relatively small, it's important to learn more about the risk factors behind the disease," Susanna Larsson, one of the researchers involved in the study, said in the statement.

Pancreatic cancer is almost always fatal because it is typically diagnosed after the cancer has spread beyond the pancreas. "It is perhaps the most serious form of cancer, with very poor prognoses for its victims. Since it's difficult to treat and is often discovered too late, it's particularly important that we learn to prevent it," she added.

The study findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
--From the Editors at Netscape


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