Sugary beverages may raise one’s risk of contracting gallbladder and other varieties of biliary tract cancers (BTCs), according to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.1

Beverages that raise glucose concentration are implicated as causal factors for type 2 diabetes and weight gain, both of which are associated with BTCs. To examine whether sugar-sweetened beverages are directly linked to these cancers, researchers analyzed the data of 70,832 adults from the Swedish Mammography Cohort and Cohort of Swedish Men who had neither cancer nor diabetes at baseline.

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Median follow-up was 13.4 years; of the study population, 148 cases of BTC, of which 71 were cases of gallbladder cancer, were recorded in the Swedish Cancer Register. Cox proportional hazard models revealed that 2 or more servings of sugary beverages a day (200 mL per serving), when compared to 0 servings per day, corresponded to a high hazard ratio for 3 varieties of these cancers: 1.79 (95% CI, 1.02-3.13) for extrahepatic BTC; 2.24 (95% CI, 1.02-4.89) for gallbladder cancer, and 1.69 (95% CI, 0.41-7.03) for intrahepatic BTC.

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The authors concluded that 2 sugary beverages per day may increase one’s chances of contracting BTC, though study participants appeared at greater risk for gallbladder cancer than for any other variety.


  1. Larsson SC, Giovannucci EL, Wolk A. Sweetened beverage consumption and risk of biliary tract and gallbladder cancer in a prospective study [published online ahead of print June 8, 2016]. J Natl Cancer Inst. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djw125.