Sugary drinks impact your health, whether you consume them often or not.
Sugary drinks are one of the easiest ways of packing extra calories without realizing it. According to Healthy Food America, sugary drinks like sodas and juices are the country’s number one source of added sugars, packing thousands of empty calories that provide little energy and alter your body in unhealthy ways.
A new study shows that drinking even one sugary drink a day can impact the health of your liver, increasing the odds of cancer.
The study was conducted by researchers from a variety of institutions and was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Nutrition, held on June 14 – 16. The research had access to data from over 90,000 women between the ages of 50 and 79, and followed up for 19 years, painting a thorough picture of their health.
The study wanted to spot patterns between sugary drinks and liver cancer. It found that women who consumed at least one of these drinks a day had 73% higher odds of developing liver cancer when compared to women who had three or fewer sugary drinks a month.
Researchers believe sugary drinks are a risk because of sugar’s effects, which affect insulin levels and drive weight gain. All of these factors affect liver health.
Longgang Zhao, the lead author of the study, said that the results were helpful since they showed that cutting back on these drinks is an effective preventative measure. “Replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with water, and non-sugar-sweetened coffee or tea could significantly lower liver cancer risk,” said Zhao in a press release.
It’s important to note that the study had limitations, like the fact that it was conducted solely on older women and that it was observational. While a link between sugary drinks and liver cancer was found, the research doesn’t prove that one causes the other. It just suggests that it increases the risk.