No connection found between fizzy drinks, cancer

By Tom Nordlie • Published: January 17th, 2007
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Soda pop would be a little blah without carbonation.

But some researchers have suspected the fizz might contribute to a serious health problem.

Here’s why… in recent decades, soft-drink consumption has increased dramatically in the U-S.

So has the incidence of a cancer that strikes the esophagus, the tube we use to swallow foods and liquids.

The disease is called esophageal adenocarcinoma [eh-soff-uh-JEE-ull ADD-uh-no-carr-sih-NO-muh]. It only strikes people who already have unusual cell growth in the lining of the esophagus.

That cell growth can be a response to acid reflux, when digestive juices escape from the stomach into the esophagus.

Carbonated soft drinks can promote acid reflux, which led to the suspected cancer connection.

A study published recently in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute seems to burst that theory’s bubble.

Researchers interviewed almost two-hundred patients who had been diagnosed with esophageal adenocarcinoma.

Several of the questions asked about their eating and drinking habits twenty years earlier.

The results showed patients who consumed carbonated drinks more than six times a week were actually twenty percent LESS likely to get esophageal adenocarcinoma than those who never drank the beverages.

The scientists acknowledged that some volunteers may have had faulty memories, which could have skewed the data about their beverage use twenty years earlier.

Admittedly, this study isn’t the last word on carbonated beverages and cancer.

But it may bring some reassurance to people who drank a few too many sodas back in the day.

Now that’s refreshing.