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Relationship between sugar-sweetened drink consumption and breast cancer incidence
It has long been known that sweet soft drinks are not good for your health. Women in particular should better avoid it. Because, as researchers from Spain have now shown in a study, there is a connection between the consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and the incidence of breast cancer.
Unhealthy soft drinks
"Sugar-sweetened drinks should generally only be drunk in small quantities because they contain many calories and can contribute to the development of overweight," writes the German Society for Nutrition (DGE) on its website. In addition, the frequent consumption of sodas and cola can lead to health problems such as tooth decay, high blood pressure and diabetes. And soft drinks apparently also increase the risk of breast cancer, as Spanish researchers have now discovered.
Risk factors for breast cancer
Breast cancer, also called breast cancer, is the most common malignant tumor in women. In Germany alone, up to 70,000 new cases are counted each year.
As with most other types of cancer, the actual causes are unknown. However, some breast cancer risk factors are known.
The risk increases with age, among other things, through family history, genetic changes and smoking. A lot of body fat, frequent consumption of processed meat and high cholesterol are also associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.
In addition, higher insulin resistance may lead to an increased risk of breast cancer, researchers from the University of Navarre in Pamplona (Spain) report in the journal "European Journal of Nutrition".
The hormone insulin is needed by the human body to absorb sugar that is present in the blood after eating, in the body cells, where it is then consumed.
However, if the body no longer reacts optimally to insulin, i.e. has become resistant to insulin, it is called insulin resistance.
There are several possible causes that cause insulin resistance to develop.
Among other things, nutritional factors play a role and, above all, the consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks such as cola, soda or iced tea.
Soft drinks can increase insulin resistance
The Spanish scientists also write that sugar-sweetened drinks are a recognized factor that increases insulin resistance.
However, the link between such drinks and breast cancer has not been fully investigated.
In their study, the experts therefore looked at the connection between the consumption of soft drinks and the incidence of breast cancer in relatively young women.
Data from over 10,000 female university graduates analyzed
The researchers analyzed data from a total of 10,713 middle-aged Spanish university graduates (mean age 33) from the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) cohort.
All participants were free of breast cancer at the start of the study.
At the beginning of the study, the subjects' consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks was recorded using a nutritional questionnaire.
The incidence of breast cancer has been confirmed by a trained oncologist using medical records.
More diseases in postmenopausal women
Over the course of the observation period, 100 women developed breast cancer.
The researchers found that post-menopausal women were associated with regular consumption of sweetened drinks with a significantly higher incidence of breast cancer than women who never or rarely consumed such drinks.
No association was found in premenopausal women.
The authors' conclusion: Although the number of cases was small, a direct relationship between the consumption of sweetened drinks and the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women was observed.
Nevertheless, further larger longitudinal studies are required to prove this connection. (ad)