Researchers from Yale University have found that the consumption of artificially sweetened beverages significantly reduces the risk of colon cancer recurrence and death in patients who have been treated for advanced colon cancer.
The study, conducted by Charles S. Fuchs et al., is published in the journal PLOS ONE.
In this study, the researchers examined a pool of 1,018 patients treated for advanced colon cancer.
They evaluated the participants’ consumption of artificially sweetened beverages, such as caffeinated colas, caffeine-free colas, and diet ginger ale, in relation to the risk of cancer recurrence and death.
- Participants who consumed one or more 12-ounce servings of artificially sweetened beverages daily showed a 46% improvement in the risk of cancer recurrence or death, compared to those who did not consume these beverages.
- About half of the observed benefit was attributed to substituting an artificially sweetened beverage for a sugar-sweetened beverage.
Contextualizing the Findings
The findings align with what is currently understood about colon cancer risk factors. Obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and a diet that contributes to diabetes are known to be risk factors.
In this context, the study suggests that artificially sweetened beverages are not a health risk but rather a healthier choice when it comes to colon cancer recurrence and survival.
Addressing Previous Concerns
Concerns have previously been raised about artificial sweeteners contributing to obesity, diabetes, and cancer.
However, research in this area has been mixed, and studies specifically focused on cancer in humans have not demonstrated such associations.
Conclusions and Implications
While this study suggests a beneficial impact of consuming artificially sweetened beverages for patients treated for advanced colon cancer, it’s essential to consider the full spectrum of health impacts.
Nonetheless, this research indicates that such beverages could be a healthier choice for these specific patients.
For those interested in colon cancer research, studies have shown that aspirin could lower colon cancer risk in older people, and certain drugs may lower the risk of death in colon cancer patients.
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