Several cohort studies, including an analysis of the NIH-AARP cohort and the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort, found no association between high levels of sugar intake and the incidence of pancreatic cancer.5,6 Another large cohort study also found no association between high intake of total sugars, sucrose, or fructose intake and pancreatic cancer risk.7 High fruit and fruit juice intake, however, were associated with increased pancreatic risk (RR, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.02-1.84; P = .04), though soda consumption was not.
A case-control study of 3148 women from the African American and European American populations found a significant increase in odds of developing estrogen receptor–positive breast cancer among postmenopausal European American women who frequently consumed sugary drinks (odds ratio [OR], 2.05; 95% CI, 1.13-3.70), but not among premenopausal European American women or pre-/postmenopausal African American women.8
Another case-control study of 764 women demonstrated a significant increased risk of breast cancer among premenopausal (OR, 1.93; 95% CI, 1.53-2.61; P = .001) and postmenopausal (OR, 1.87; 95% CI, 1.03-2.61; P = .045) Malaysian women with high sugar consumption compared with lower sugar consumption.9
In the Iowa Women’s Health Study of 23,039 postmenopausal women, sugar was associated with a significant increase in risk of type I (HR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.32-2.40; P = .0005), but not type II endometrial cancer.10 There was no association between endometrial cancer risk and consumption of fruit juice, sucrose, glucose, and fructose consumption.
A case-control study demonstrated similar findings.11 In this study of 424 cases of epithelial endometrial cancer and 398 controls, high levels of added sugar consumption were significantly associated with an increased risk of endometrial cancer (OR, 1.84; 95% CI, 1.16-2.92). This association was stronger among women with a larger waist-to-hip ratio (OR, 2.50; 95% CI, 1.38-4.52).
A case-control study of 595 women found no association between total sugar intake, consumption of sugary beverages or desserts, and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer.12
A case-control study using data from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and the Nurses’ Health Study found that high levels of sucrose (relative risk [RR], 1.30; 95% CI, 0.99-1.69; P = .03) and fructose (RR, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.05-1.78; P = .008) intake were associated with colorectal cancer among men, but not women.13 Another case-control study found no association overall between sugar or sucrose intake and colorectal cancer risk in a Japanese population.14
Another analysis of the EPIC study found no association between sugar intake and differentiated thyroid cancer risk.15
Though there are few studies that have evaluated the effect of sugar consumption on cancer outcomes, the available data suggest that high sugar intake may increase the risk of colorectal cancer recurrence. The data regarding sugar consumption and the increased risk of cancer are, however, not consistent, making it difficult to draw definitive conclusions.
- Xu XD, Shao SX, Jiang HP, et al. Warburg effect or reverse Warburg effect? a review of cancer metabolism. Oncol Res Treat. 2015;38:117-22. doi: 10.1159/000375435
- Tasevska N, Park Y, Jiao L, Hollenbeck A, Subar AF, Potischman N. Sugars and risk of mortality in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014;99:1077-88. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.069369
- Fuchs MA, Sato K, Niedzwiecki D, et al. Sugar-sweetened beverage intake and cancer recurrence and survival in CALGB 89803 (Alliance). PLoS ONE. 2014;9:e99816. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0099816
- Tasevska N, Jiao L, Cross AJ, et al. Sugars in diet and risk of cancer in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. Int J Cancer. 2017;130:159-69. doi:10.1002/ijc.25990
- Bao Y, Stolzenberg-Solomon R, Jia L, et al. Added sugar, sugar-sweetened foods and beverages and risk of pancreatic cancer in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008;88:431-40.
- Navarrete-Munoz EM, Wark PA, Romaguera D, et al. Sweet-beverage consumption and risk of pancreatic cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Am J Clin Nutr. 2016;104-760-8. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.130963
- Nothlings U, Murphy SP, Wilkens LR, Henderson BE, Kolonel LN. Dietary glycemic load, added sugars, and carbohydrates as risk factors for pancreatic cancer: the Multiethnic Cohort Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;86:1495-1501.
- Chandran U, McCann SE, Zirpoli G, et al. Intake of energy-dense foods, fast foods, sugary drinks, and breast cancer risk in African American and European American women. Nutr Cancer. 2014;66:1187-99. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2014.951737
- Sulaiman S, Shahril MR, Wafa SW, Shaharudin SH, Hussin SN. Dietary carbohydrate, fiber and sugar and risk of breast cancer according to menopausal status in Malaysia. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014;15:5959-64. doi: 10.7314/APJCP.2014.15.14.5959
- Inoue-Choi M, Robien K, Mariani A, Cerhan JR, Anderson KE. Sugar-sweetened beverage intake and the risk of type I and type II endometrial cancer among postmenopausal women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013;22:2384-94. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0636
- King MG, Chandran U, Olson SH, et al. Consumption of sugary foods and drinks and risk of endometrial cancer. Cancer Causes Control. 2013;24:1427-36. doi: 10.1007/s10552-013-0222-0
- King MG, Olson SH, Paddock L, et al. Sugary food and beverage consumption and epithelial ovarian cancer risk: a population-based case–control study. BMC Cancer. 2013;13:94-106.
- Michaud DS, Fuchs CS, Liu S, Willett WC, Colditz GA, Giovannucci E. Dietary glycemic load, carbohydrate, sugar, and colorectal cancer risk in men and women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005;14:138-43.
- Wang Z, Uchida K, Ohnaka K, et al. Sugars, sucrose and colorectal cancer risk: the Fukuoka colorectal cancer study. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2014;49:581-8. doi: 10.3109/00365521.2013.822091
- Zamora-Ros R, Rinaldi S, Tsilidis KK, et al. Energy and macronutrient intake and risk of differentiated thyroid carcinoma in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study. Int J Cancer. 2016;138:65-73.