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Low / no calorie soft drinks combined with improved results in patients with advanced colorectal cancer



Drinking artificially sweetened beverages is associated with a significantly lower risk of recurrence of colorectal cancer and cancer death, a research team led by Yale Cancer Center Researcher Charles Fuchs has found. Credit: Yale Cancer Center

Drinking artificially sweetened beverages is associated with a significantly lower risk of colon cancer recurrence and cancer death, a team of researchers led by a Yale Cancer Center scientist has found. The study was published today in the journal PLOS ONE .

"Artificially sweetened drinks have a scant public reputation for alleged health risks that have never really been documented," said lead author of the study, Charles S. Fuchs, MD, MPH, director of the Yale Cancer Center. "Our study clearly shows that they help prevent cancer recurrence and death in patients treated for advanced colorectal cancer and this is an exciting finding"

Fuchs and his team of researchers found those participants in the analysis of 1

,018 patients One or more 12 ounce portions of artificially sweetened drinks a day, compared to those who did not drink these drinks, experienced a 46 percent improvement in the risk of recurrence or death from cancer. These were "soft drinks", defined as caffeine-containing coke, decaffeinated coke and other carbonated drinks (such as dietary ginger ale).

A second analysis showed that about half of this benefit was due to the substitution of an artificially sweetened drink, a beverage sweetened with sugar.

"A growing body of literature suggests that poor dietary habits such as high intake of sugar-sweetened beverages may increase the risk of colorectal cancer recurrence and patient mortality," said lead author of the study, Brendan J. Guercio, MD, a Dana medical resident -Farber Cancer Institute, when the research was conducted, but now a hospital doctor at Brigham and Women's Hospital. "For colorectal cancer patients who have difficulty dispensing with sweet drinks, they may choose artificially sweetened options over sugar-sweetened beverages to avoid these health effects."

"While the association between recurrent colon cancer and death was slightly stronger than We suspect that the result fits in with everything we know about colon cancer risk in general," said Fuchs. "Factors such as obesity, physical inactivity, a diet associated with diabetes – and all this leads to an excess of energy balance – are well-known risk factors.We now find that in terms of colorectal cancer recurrence and survival, artificially sweetened drinks is not However, this is a healthier option in this study. "

This research follows a series of publications from studies prospectively examining patients with stage III colon carcinoma included in a National Cancer Institute-sponsored clinical trial program two different forms of postoperative chemotherapy. Participants completed comprehensive nutritional questionnaires examining the consumption of more than 130 different foods and beverages over a period of many months. A questionnaire was given when the patients underwent chemotherapy between 1999 and 2001 and were treated again six months after stopping chemotherapy. The researchers then observed the cancer recurrence and mortality rates of patients for about seven years and found, among other things, that the two chemotherapy regiments offered equivalent benefits.

The studies that were embedded in the overall clinical study were developed to find links between certain foods / beverages and colorectal cancer risk and death. They did not want to prove definitive causes and effects.

One study found that participants in clinical studies who drank coffee had a significantly reduced risk of recurrence of cancer and death. Another found a similar benefit in patients who ate nuts. This study looked at artificially sweetened drinks as a previous study of sweetened beverages dramatically increased colorectal cancer risk.

"We wanted to ask the question of whether the lifestyle changes after artificially sweetened cancer drinks change outcome of cancer after surgery? Fox said:

He added that the health effects of such soft drinks are being investigated Concerns that artificial sweeteners may increase the incidence of obesity, diabetes and cancer have been raised, but studies on weight gain and diabetes have been very mixed, and in relation to cancer, human epidemiological studies have not shown such relationships.

  • The increase in artificially sweetened beverage intake was associated with a significantly lower risk of cancer recurrence or death after other predictors of cancer recurrence had been adjusted.
  • These associations persisted after adaptation to potential co-founders, including measurements of energy balance, such as body mass index, physical activity and consumption of a prediabetic "western" diet – all known and suspected predictors of patient outcome.
  • Median follow-up from the first survey was 7.3 years During that time, 348 of the 1,018 patients contracted recurrent colon cancer or new primary tumors, 265 of whom died


Continue exploring:
Nut consumption can aid the survival of colon cancer

Reference to source in the journal:
Plus one

Provided by:
Yale University


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