Scientists warn that drinking just one sugar-sweetened beverage like tea or coffee a day is linked to an increased risk of liver cancer.
The added risk could be as high as 78 percent for those with a sweet tooth.
Liver cancer is diagnosed around 6,200 times a year in the UK, making it the 18th most common type of cancer.
It has a low survival rate, with only 13 percent living five or more years after their diagnosis.
The new study analyzed data from 90,000 postmenopausal women who participated in the Women’s Health Initiative, a long-term study that began in the early 1990s.
Researchers led by the University of South Carolina studied their health for an average of 18 years after completing diet questionnaires.
Around seven percent of women reported consuming one or more 12-ounce servings of sugar-sweetened beverages daily.
A total of 205 women developed liver cancer with symptoms such as fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, pain under the ribs and itchy skin.
Women who drank one or more sugar-sweetened beverages daily were 78 percent more likely to develop liver cancer.
Those who drank at least one soft drink a day were 73 percent more likely to develop liver cancer compared to those who never drank just three a month or none at all.
Lead author Longgang Zhao, a graduate student, said: “Our results suggest that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is a potentially modifiable risk factor for liver cancer.
“If our results are confirmed, reducing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages could serve as a public health strategy to reduce the burden of liver cancer.”
“Replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with water and non-sugar-sweetened coffee or tea could significantly reduce liver cancer risk.”
The results were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition.
More studies would be needed to determine if and why sweet drinks may contribute to liver cancer.
However, the researchers said this could be because sugar increases the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, which in turn are risk factors for liver cancer.
These drinks can also contribute to insulin resistance and the buildup of fat in the liver, both of which affect liver health.
The main limitation of the study is that it was observational, meaning the connection cannot be certain.
And there may be another lifestyle factor linked to liver cancer, particularly by those who drink sugary beverages.
Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda and fruit drinks, have been linked to a variety of health problems.
https://www.the-sun.com/health/5559624/one-drink-day-increases-risk-liver-cancer-tea-coffee/ Just ONE popular drink a day ‘increases risk of liver cancer by 78%’