Compared to women who barely drank any sugar-sweetened drinks like soda, those who drank the most were 78 percent more likely to be diagnosed with the most common type of endometrial cancer. Scientists were able to clearly see a correlation: The more sugar-sweetened beverages a woman drank, the higher her risk of endometrial cancer.
"Although ours is the first study to show this relationship, it is not surprising to see that women who drank more sugar-sweetened beverages had a higher risk of estrogen-dependent type I endometrial cancer, but not estrogen-independent type II endometrial cancer," explains Maki Inoue-Choi, PhD, RD, who led this study as a research associate in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis.
"Other studies have shown increasing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has paralleled the increase in obesity," she adds, noting that obese women tend to have higher levels of estrogens and insulin than women of normal weight. "Increased levels of estrogens and insulin are established risk factors for endometrial cancer," Inoue-Choi says.
So is sugar toxic? This is yet another piece of evidence suggesting it is, especially in the doses most people currently take in. Once reserved for special occasions, people are now overdosing on it. That's not hard to believe, considering some bottles of soda or cans of iced tea contain 50-plus grams of sugar—more than the total anyone should have in a single day.
9 Disturbing Side Effects of Soda
The new study, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, looked at how many sugar- and sugar-free drinks women drank, including Coke, Pepsi, 7-Up, Hawaiian Punch, lemonade, and other fruit drinks. They also looked at the amount of sweets and baked goods in the women's diets. While sugar-free soda and sweets and baked goods didn't seem to impact a woman's risk, sugar-sweetened drinks like soda did. The group that drank the most—60½ servings a week—faced a nearly 80 percent higher risk. (To put things in perspective, about 500 out of more than 20,000 women involved in the study developed endometrial cancer.)
Still, giving soda the boot is an easy way to protect yourself—not just from endometrial cancer, but from a ton of other problems, such as blood vessel damage, wrinkles, and type 2 diabetes. For more reasons and ways to kick added sugars out of your life, read 11 Weird Things Sugar's Doing to Your Body.