Consumption of sugars, sugary foods, and sugary beverages in relation to cancer risk: A systematic review of longitudinal studies

Nour Makarem, Elisa V. Bandera, Joseph M. Nicholson, Niyati Parekh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

High sugar intake may increase cancer risk by promoting insulin-glucose dysregulation, oxidative stress, inflammation, and body adiposity, but epidemiologic evidence is unclear. Associations between dietary sugars and lifestyle-related cancer risk from longitudinal studies were evaluated. We systematically searched PubMed, Embase, and CINAHL and identified 37 prospective cohort studies (1990-2017) reporting multivariable adjusted risk estimates for dietary sugars in relation to cancer. Of 15 and 14 studies on total sugar and sucrose respectively, 11 reported a null association in relation to cancer. Of 14 studies on fructose, 8 reported null associations, and 2 reported protective and 4 reported detrimental associations. In two of five studies on added sugars, a 60-95% increased cancer risk was observed with higher intakes. In 8 of 15 studies on sugary foods and beverages, a 23-200% higher cancer risk was observed with higher sugary beverage consumption. In conclusion, most studies were indicative of a null association, but suggestive detrimental associations were reported for added sugars and sugary beverages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-39
Number of pages23
JournalAnnual Review of Nutrition
Volume38
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 21 2018

Keywords

  • cancer risk
  • prospective studies
  • sugars
  • sugary foods and beverages
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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