Daily Sugary Drinks Increases Risk of Liver Cancer

If you are reading this blog, you are someone who thinks about your blood sugar. We know that our customers are all doing their best to take control of their health through diet, exercise and lifestyle. We hear from you all the time in reviews and messages on social media about how you use your routine to manage your health. It’s excellent, and we’re impressed by how hard everyone is working and striving to take care of themselves!

We all have our treats, cheats and vices. It’s impossible to get through life without cutting yourself some slack. If you have been reading our blog for a while, you know we don’t believe in putting things “off limits.” That’s a recipe for becoming obsessed with food and eating unhealthy. But, there are some foods that it’s more important to limit than others. We all like to indulge every once in a while. With planning and by eating in a healthy manner, you can build treats into your life. But, it is essential to stick to healthy habits.

Anyone managing their blood sugar knows they should avoid drinking a lot of sugary drinks. Added sugar spikes blood sugar. Even juice isn’t healthy as the fiber has been removed, and the sugar can cause spikes. But, for people who love sugary drinks, they can be hard to resist. New research may give you more incentive to only enjoy them occasionally.

A study using 98,786 older women found that drinking sugary drinks every day increased the risk of liver cancer and death from chronic liver disease. The study followed the women for 20 years. The researchers found that 6.8 percent of the women have at least one sugary drink daily. They had an 85 percent higher risk of liver cancer and a 68 percent higher risk of dying from chronic liver disease. The women reported their consumption of sugary sweetened drinks and fruit drinks, but not juice.

While there have been a lot of questions recently about the safety of artificial sweeteners, women who drank artificially sweetened drinks daily did not have heightened liver risks.

The study did have some issues. It only examined women’s drinking habits for the first three years. Their habits may have changed after that. The vast majority of the participants were white, meaning the link might not be the same across races. The study only looked at women, so it’s unknown if the same is true for men. And, as it was observational, cause and effect can’t be proven, just a link. More studies will be needed to understand this research.

We know from a body of evidence that it is worth thinking twice before choosing to drink sugar-sweetened beverages every day,” said Dr. Pauline Emmett, a senior research fellow at the Univ. of Bristol. But, she added, “Don’t freak out. Nobody’s saying don’t consume [sugar-sweetened beverages]. You can consume it, but be aware.”

Moderation is important,” said Dr. Karina Lora, an assistant professor of exercise and nutrition sciences at George Washington Univ. “If you want to enjoy some of these beverages, enjoy it — but not frequently.”

The researchers acknowledged the limitations of their study as well and talked about what their next steps will be. “Given that the study focused on postmenopausal women, studies involving men and younger women are needed to examine the associations more comprehensively. Furthermore, more research is needed to elucidate the potential mechanisms by integrating genetics, animal/experimental studies… If our findings [are] confirmed, reducing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption might serve as a public health strategy to reduce liver cancer burden.”

We know that people with blood sugar concerns always seek more reasons to stick to their healthy habits. If you love Coke, that’s okay! It’s just that drinking a can every day may upset both your blood sugar and your liver health. So, cut back, and your health will thank you in the long run.  

Banner image: Pixabay via Pexels

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