Drinking a sugary can of soda a day could contribute to the growth of colon cancer tumors, according to a medical study released Thursday.
In the study, mice susceptible to colon cancer were given doses of high-fructose corn syrup over eight weeks equivalent to adults drinking a can of soda.
The doses caused mice to develop larger colon tumors, researchers at Weill Cornell and New York-Presbyterian found compared to mice that didn’t consume the syrup.
The findings were published in the medical journal Science.
Investigators said more research is required to determine whether consuming high-fructose corn syrup promotes colon tumor growth in humans.
“The study shows that colorectal polyps feed on high-fructose corn syrup and explains the molecular mechanism by which this drives the growth of the tumor,” said co- author Dr. Lewis Cantley.
“While our work was conducted in mice, our findings build on mounting evidence that sugar fuels cancer growth.”
Investigators said that based on their findings, people with colon cancer or those at high risk should avoid sugary drinks.
“If you are predisposed to getting polyps, you should not be drinking any sugar-sweetened beverages,” said lead author Dr. Marcus Goncalves.
“If you have colorectal cancer, you could be feeding your tumor by drinking high-fructose corn syrup.”
Consumption of soda and other beverages sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup has long been associated with contributing to obesity and diabetes. Colon cancer rates have also increased since the 1980s, researchers said.
Other studies have linked diets high in processed meat and low in fiber to increased colon cancer risk.
Source: New York Post