No fizzy drinks cancer link, says study

By Chris Mercer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Soft drink, Carbonated water

Fizzy soft drinks and low alcohol beer do not increase risk of
esophageal cancer in consumers, says a new study from Sweden,
backing up earlier research in the US.

Researchers examined data from, and interviewed, 189 esophageal cancer patients and an 820-strong 'control' group. No association between carbonated beverages and the disease was found.

The study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, backs up results from a similar study at America's Yale University early this year.

Fizzy soft drinks have been linked with reflux actions in the lower esophagus, which are thought to be a risk factor for esophageal cancer. Supporters of this theory point out that esophageal cancer cases have increased alongside a rise in fizzy drink consumption.

"If you take our study and the study in the US together, it seems unlikely that there is a correlation. I have good reason to believe the results of our study are accurate,"​ Jesper Lagergren, who led the Swedish study, told​.

Lagergren, of Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, said the two studies appeared to have pretty much closed the door on the issue, but added: "Another study which is in line with the other two would probably be advisable"​.

He said it was always difficult to account for all external factors in dietary studies, although the team had done its best to limit these.

Soft drinks associations have rubbished links between their products and esophageal cancer since the link was made public in the US in 2004. The US National Soft Drink Association said the correlation was meaningless and completely without foundation.

News of the Swedish study will be a rare piece of good news for fizzy soft drinks firms, who have faced falling sales and concerns over the safety and quality of their beverages over the last few months.

Regular fizzy drinks have been heavily linked to obesity by health professionals and governments, and one study released last November suggested fizzy sodas may increase the risk of hypertension, which can lead to heart disease.

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