PUBLIC HEALTH

Study Links Soda to Pancreatic Cancer

Drinking two sodas a week may double your risk of getting pancreatic cancer, according to a new study. “People who drank two or more soft drinks a week had an 87 percent increased risk—or nearly twice the risk—of pancreatic cancer compared to individuals consuming no soft drinks," says the study’s lead author Noel T. Mueller, a research associate at Georgetown University Medical Center. Mueller and his colleagues evaluated 60,524 men and women enrolled in the Singapore Chinese Health Study for up to 14 years, looking at their diet and whether they got cancer. Those who drank two or more sodas a week—the average number was five—had an 87 percent increased risk, Mueller told WebMD. (Those who drank juice showed no increased risk, and diet drinks were not part of the study.) Why the link with sugary sodas? "What we believe is the sugar in the soft drinks is increasing the insulin level in the body, which we think contributes to pancreatic cancer cell growth. That increase in insulin is what may be leading to the development of the cancer," he says.