Consuming just one or two cups of sugar-sweetened drinks daily may accelerate the growth of intestinal tumours, reveals a study.
The finding has come to the fore after a study was conducted on mice by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and Weill Cornell Medicine in the US.
“An increasing number of observational studies have raised awareness of the association between consuming sugary drinks, obesity and the risk of colorectal cancer,” said Jihye Yun, assistant professor at Baylor.
“We know that obesity increases the risk of many types of cancer including colorectal cancer; however, we were uncertain whether a direct and causal link existed between sugar consumption and cancer,” said Yun. Researchers generated a mouse model of early-stage colon cancer where APC gene was deleted.
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“APC is a gatekeeper in colorectal cancer. Deleting this protein is like removing the breaks of a car,” Yun said. “Without it, normal intestinal cells neither stop growing nor die, forming early stage tumours called polyps. More than 90 per cent of colorectal cancer patients have this type of APC mutation.”
“Further research is needed to translate these discovery to people; however, our findings in animal models suggest that chronic consumption of sugary drinks can shorten the time it takes cancer to develop,” she stated.