This is soda pressing.
Older women who drink just one sugar-sweetened beverage a day have a “significantly higher” risk of developing liver cancer and of dying from chronic liver disease, according to a study published Tuesday in the medical journal JAMA.
The research found that postmenopausal women who consumed at least one sweetened soft drink or fruit drink daily were 1.75 times more likely to be diagnosed with liver cancer and 2.5 times more likely to die from chronic liver disease compared to those who drank three or fewer of these beverages a month.
“We know from a body of evidence that it is worth thinking twice before choosing to drink sugar-sweetened beverages every day,” Dr. Pauline Emmett, senior research fellow at the University of Bristol, told the Science Media Center in the UK.
Researchers from Harvard Medical School observed a group of nearly 100,000 American women between the ages of 50 to 79 for around 20 years.
While approximately 65% of US adults drink sugar-sweetened beverages daily, only about 7% of the female study participants consumed these drinks daily. Over 13% drank artificially sweetened beverages each day.
Over two decades, 207 women had developed liver cancer and 148 died from chronic liver disease.
The women who drank the artificially sweetened beverages did not have a much higher risk of developing liver problems, the researchers found.
Reviewing the study, experts noted that the results do not show causality and that the participants were only asked to record their consumption patterns when they started the study and three years in, but their habits likely evolved over the 20-year observation period.
Another recently published study found that fructose intake fuels obesity and conditions such as diabetes and fatty liver disease, with researchers noting that Americans typically consume fructose via table sugar and high fructose corn syrup, which has been shown to have detrimental health consequences.
Sugary drinks — including sodas, energy drinks and fruit beverages — have long been known to carry risks for obesity, diabetes, cancers and liver diseases.
Chronic liver disease is the ninth-leading cause of death in the US, with over 56,000 people dying from the illness annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Each year, about 11,000 American women are diagnosed with liver cancer and 9,000 die from it.
Unfortunately, liver diseases are on the rise — with a recent study specifically linking alcohol-related liver disease to the COVID-19 pandemic.