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Sugary drinks may accelerate cancer growth: Study

Scientists have found that consuming just one or two cups of sugar-sweetened drinks daily may accelerate the growth of intestinal tumours. Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and Weill Cornell Medicine in the US conducted the study on mice. Jihye Yun, assistant professor at Baylor, said that an increasing number of observational studies have raised awareness of the association between consuming sugary drinks, obesity and the risk of colorectal cancer.

It is known that obesity increases the risk of many types of cancer including colorectal cancer. The researchers, however, were uncertain whether a direct and causal link existed between sugar consumption and cancer. With this study, scientists have now discovered how sugar can directly feed cancer growth.

Using the mouse model of the disease, the team tested the effect of consuming a daily modest amount of high-fructose corn syrup — the equivalent of people drinking about one and half of a sugar-sweetened beverage daily — on tumour development.

The scientists said that further research is needed to translate this discovery to human beings. They, however, said that the findings in animal models suggest that chronic consumption of sugary drinks can shorten the time it takes cancer to develop.

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