Cancer Risk Linked to Sugar Consumption

When our dentists conduct dental exams in Lakewood, Colorado, they look for the signs of tooth decay that contributes to the development of cavities and gum disease.

Protecting your oral health from tooth decay requires brushing and flossing daily, but it also requires limiting the amount of artificially added sugar you consume as part of your diet. Studies have long established how drinking soft drinks, whether soda, fruit juice, or sports drinks, contribute to the development of cavities and decay.

Because of the high acidity and sugar content in soda, drinking these types of beverages weakens tooth enamel, making it more susceptible to the effects of decay. While this alone would make drinking soda a big enough risk of your health, another recent study suggests these types of beverages pose an even larger risk.

Drinking beverages high in sugar may also be linked to an increased cancer risk, according to the findings of a recent study. Evidence collected by the research team suggests that sugary beverages, even including 100 percent fruit juice, may increase an individual’s risk for cancer.

The study examined health and nutrition data collected on over 100,000 adults living in France.

While researchers urged caution when reading into the results of their study, they also recommended that public health officials around the globe reduce what’s considered the acceptable maximum daily recommended amount of sugar that’s part of any healthy diet.

The results of the study were published in the journal BMJ.

The Link Between Sugar and Health Risks

Previous research has already established the connection between consuming sugary drinks and other potential oral health problems, such as cavities and tooth loss. However, the relationship between sugar consumption and cancer has yet to be fully explored until now.

To conduct their study, researchers examined data collected on over 101,000 French adults who took part in a national health survey. Participants were asked to share their previous day’s dietary intake once every six months. Only participants who had made at least two dietary notations had their data included in the study.

Researchers discovered a positive association existed between overall cancer rates and frequency of sugary drink consumption. Researchers even noted that drinking strictly 100 percent fruit juice, with no soda or sport drink consumption, was also linked to an increased cancer risk.

Additionally, the consumption of sugary drinks was linked directly to breast cancer, but not other types of cancer, such as prostate or colorectal. Cancer risk was not linked to the use of artificial sweetened beverages like coffee, tea, or water.

“The results of this study suggest that the link observed between sugary beverages and the risk of cancer was strongly driven by sugar content,” wrote the research team of their findings. “Of note, even sugary beverages with a lower overall sugar content were also linked to increased cancer risk in the study, probably due to the fact they were consumed in higher amounts when compared to sugary beverages with a high sugar content.”

While sugar seems like the most prominent cause of the increased cancer risk, researchers were not willing to rule out other potential causes. For instance, certain chemical compounds like pesticides or coloring additives, could also play a role linking sugary beverages to cancer risk.

Only with further research will a definitive line be established between sugar consumption and cancer risk.

Protecting Your Health

Enjoying a healthy body means eating a healthy diet. Not only will cutting back on the number of sugary beverages you consume on a daily or weekly basis help you during dental exams in Lakewood, Colorado, but maintaining a better diet will also enable you to avoid the risks that come from added sugars and fats.

If you have any questions about the best types of diets for both your teeth and health, make sure to ask any member of our team during your next visit to Louisville Dental Associates.