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Soft Drinks Could Boost Pancreatic Cancer Risk
Date:2/8/2010

>The study was a collaboration between the University of Minnesota and National University of Singapore. Mueller, formerly at Minnesota, has since joined Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC, as a research associate.

The analysis involved more than 60,000 middle-aged or older Chinese Singaporeans. Researchers calculated how much juice and soda the participants drank on average and followed them for 14 years to see how many developed cancer of the pancreas.

Those who drank two or more sodas a week were 87 percent more likely to develop this kind of tumor than individuals who didn't consume any soda.

Researchers found no link between juice consumption and cancer risk, perhaps because fruit juice has less effect than sugary sodas on glucose and insulin levels, the authors noted.

Previous research in U.S. and European populations has suggested an association between sweetened sodas and juices and pancreatic cancer. This is the first study to examine the association in an Asian population, although the authors feel the findings can be extrapolated to Western nations.

"We believe that because Singaporean adults have a lot of the same mannerisms as Western countries, which is a tendency to eat fast food and also go shopping, one could say that these findings may be generalizable to other Western countries," said Mueller. "Genetically they are very different from Caucasians, however their lifestyle is similar to Western countries."

The findings are biologically plausible.

Type 2 diabetes, a disorder of blood sugar levels and insulin under-activity, has also tentatively been linked to pancreatic cancer.

The researchers speculate that elevated blood sugar levels associated with soda-drinking and the associated increase in insulin levels prompt pancreatic cells to divide abnormally.

"Drinking sugar-sweetened soft drinks has been linked to weight gain, obesity and
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