Drinking as little as two sugar-sweetened soft drinks per week may nearly double the risk of developing pancreatic cancer, say scientists.

Mark Pereira, Ph.D., senior author on the study, explains that “the high levels of sugar in soft drinks may be increasing the level of insulin in the body, which we think contributes to pancreatic cancer cell growth.”

As part of the study, the researchers tracked 60,524 men and women in the Singapore Chinese Health Study for 14 years. During that time, there were 140 pancreatic cancer cases. Those who consumed two or more primarily carbonated sugar-sweetened soft drinks per week (averaging five per week) had an 87% bolstered risk, compared with people who refrained from soft drinks.

In contrast, no link was found between fruit juice consumption and pancreatic cancer.

Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention – February 2010;19:447-455.

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