Approximately 50,000 American women are diagnosed with endometrial cancer each year, and of those 8,000 die. University of Missouri researchers recently determined that sugary drinks, such as sodas, might increase a woman’s risk of endometrial cancer by as much as 78%!
Researchers analyzed the questionnaires of 23,000 post-menopausal women taken as part of a larger diet study. Women recorded their daily consumption of food and beverages, including sodas, such as Coke, Pepsi, and 7Up (along with their caffeine-free versions), and sugary drinks such as Hawaiian Punch and lemonade. Women also accounted for their intake of sugar-free drinks and sugar-filled baked treats such as cookies, brownies, doughnuts, pies, and candy.
Results showed that women who drank the most sugar-laden drinks exhibited an increased risk of type 1 endometrial cancer. According to the study, the more sugary drinks you drink, the greater your cancer risk!
The study found no such connection between sugary foods or natural fruit juices. Researchers theorize that sugar from whole foods may be less harmful because it is coupled with other nutrients such as fiber.
The study, however, did not establish an irrefutable link between sugary drinks and cancer, because it failed to rule out other variables. The women who happened to drink the most sugary sodas might also have partaken in the poorest lifestyle and nutrition habits.
Obesity and Endometrial Cancer
What is still the primary risk factor for endometrial cancer? Obesity—which accounts for half of all cancer diagnoses! The University of Missouri study confirmed the link between obesity and endometrial cancer. Older women who weighed the most, experienced delayed menopause, or had a history of diabetes also had an increased cancer risk.
Obesity can promote endometrial cancer because fat cells secrete more estrogen. Increased levels of estrogen, which affect the lining of the uterus, are proven to cause endometrial cancer, as are increased insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar and significantly promotes obesity and diabetes, along with their associated health complications.
The study’s author, Maki Inoue-Choi, explains:
“Other studies have shown increasing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has paralleled the increase in obesity. Obese women tend to have higher levels of estrogens and insulin than women of normal weight.”
Without a doubt, high calorie, sugary beverages promote fat storage and obesity. Cutting back on sodas, or eliminating them entirely, will significantly decrease cancer risk, as well as your risk for most other debilitating, life-threatening illnesses.