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Sugary drinks may boost may accelerate the growth of intestinal tumours

Scientists have found that consuming just one or two cups of sugar-sweetened drinks daily may accelerate the growth of intestinal tumours.

Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and Weill Cornell Medicine in the US conducted the study on mice. Jihye Yun, assistant professor at Baylor, said that an increasing number of observational studies have raised awareness of the association between consuming sugary drinks, obesity and the risk of colorectal cancer.

It is known that obesity increases the risk of many types of cancer including colorectal cancer. The researchers, however, were uncertain whether a direct and causal link existed between sugar consumption and cancer. With this study, scientists have now discovered how sugar can directly feed cancer growth.

Researchers generated a mouse model of early-stage colon cancer where Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene is d. APC is a gatekeeper in colorectal cancer. Without it, normal intestinal cells neither stop growing nor die, forming early-stage tumours called polyps. More than 90 per cent of colorectal cancer patients has this type of APC mutation.

Using this mouse model of the disease, the team tested the effect of consuming a daily modest amount of high-fructose corn syrup — the equivalent of people drinking about one and half of a sugar-sweetened beverage daily — on tumour development.

The sweetened water was 25 per cent high-fructose corn syrup, which is the main sweetener of sugary drinks people consume. When the researchers provided the sugary drink in the water bottle for the APC-model mice to drink at their will, mice rapidly gained weight in a month.

To prevent the mice from being obese and mimic humans’ daily consumption of one can of soda, the researchers gave the mice a moderate amount of sugary water orally with a special syringe once a day. After two months, the APC-model mice receiving sugary water did not become obese, but developed tumours that were larger and of higher-grade than those in model mice treated with regular water.

The scientists said that further research is needed to translate this discovery to human beings. They, however, said that the findings in animal models suggest that chronic consumption of sugary drinks can shorten the time it takes cancer to develop. The findings also open new possibilities for treatment.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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