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Early-Life Sugar, Sugary Drinks Consumption During Adolescence Increases Risk of Adenoma, Study Finds

A recent study has discovered that high intake of simple sugars and sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) such as soda, during adolescence appears to contribute to a heightened risk of conventional adenoma especially rectal adenoma.

Photo: Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSB) | InStyleHealth

What is an adenoma?

Adenoma is a type of non-cancerous tumor or benign that may affect various organs of the body. Every cell in our body has a closely regulated system that orders when it needs to grow, mature, and eventually dies. Tumors and cancers occur when cells lose their control and divide and propagate erratically. 

Experts have examined the effect of consuming simple sugar (e.g., fructose, glucose, added sugar, total sugar) and SSB on the occurrence of colorectal cancer (CRC) precursors in 33,106 volunteers of the Nurses’ Health Study II who provided adolescent dietary information in 1998. All subjects consequently underwent lower gastrointestinal endoscopy between 1999 and 2015.

There was a total of 2,909 conventional adenomas, 758 were high risk and 2,355 serrated lesions were recorded over the follow-up period. The average age at diagnoses was 52.2 years old.

Utilizing multivariate logistic regression for clustered data, it revealed that high sugar and SSB consumption during adolescence had a positive correlation with the risk of adenoma but not serrated lesions. Particularly, each 5% increment in calorie/day of total fructose intake showed a 17 to 30% increase in the risks of total adenoma and high-risk adenoma.

Analyzing subgroup by subsite, each 5% increment in calorie/day of total fructose intake increased the risk of proximal, distal, and rectal adenoma.

However, every 1 serving/day increment in SSB intake increased the risk of total adenoma by 11% and of rectal adenoma by 30%.

On the other hand, sugar and SSB intake during adulthood did not influence adenoma risk. For complete details of the study, click here.


Source: Gastroenterology 2021;doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2021.03.028

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