The Health Risks of That Fizzy Drink

April 26, 2010 by  
Filed under featured, Health


In warm weather we turn to a nice cold drink, and often we want one with a bit of fizz to it. But there is mounting research that links carbonated drinks to serious health problems such as cancer and less serious, but debilitating conditions like gout.

US researchers at Georgetown University Medical Centre examined evidence gathered from the Singapore Chinese Health Study where more than 60,000 subjects were followed for as much as 14 years. They came to a startling conclusion: carbonated drinks increase a man’s pancreatic cancer risk.

The really worrying part is that this is not massive consumption, but even drinking just two such beverages a week increased their risk of pancreatic cancer by nearly 90 per cent. Most fizzy drinks are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and that in itself has raised some health concerns in the US recently where they are big consumers of it.

If you are looking for a healthy addition to the diet to lower the risk of prostate cancer then add in some walnuts. They are a rich plant source of omega-3s, the fatty acids also found in cold water fish like salmon and new research reported in April 2010 reported that they should be part of a prostate-healthy diet.

The other problem with carbonated drinks was discovered by the well respected Framingham Heart researchers in the USA who found that subjects who drank one or more fizzy drinks each day were nearly 45 per cent more likely to develop symptoms of metabolic syndrome, including obesity, increased waist circumference, impaired fasting glucose, higher blood pressure, high triglycerides, and higher LDL cholesterol. These drinks also expose the gastrointestinal tract to a high level of acid and that can lead to gastric distension and acid reflux with a possible potential link to oesophageal cancer.

Men in particular should be careful before popping the top off a can of fizzy drink, as researchers at the University of British Columbia found that men who drank one fizzy drink a day increased their risk of developing gout by 45 per cent and two or more a day nearly doubled the risk.

60 percent increased prostate cancer risk from overcooked meat


In this weather it’s tempting to bring out the barbecue, though personally I have never had a decent steak off one yet, and there is always the problem of overcooking. Blackened steak might taste ok whether on the barbecue or the grill, but it does pose a health hazard – particularly for men.

Overcooking causes problems for vegetables too as they lose their nutritional value, but there are possible carcinogenic effects in meat, and eggs, that are definitely hazardous to health. When they are cooked at very high temperatures they produce a chemical compound called PhIP, which many believe can cause DNA changes, or can metabolize harmless bodily enzymes into carcinogens.

There is already a well documented link with PhlP and breast cancer and now the University of Minnesota has undertaken research that they say shows that that regularly eating well-done, or burned, meat could boost the risk of pancreatic cancer by a staggering 60 percent. It’s because overcooking creates heterocyclic amines (H.A.s), which contribute to increased risk of pancreatic cancer and it’s in the burned portions of the meat that the greatest concentration of H.A.’s are found.

So turn down the heat and turn up your chances of avoiding cancer.