Daily fizzy drink intake linked to aggressive prostate cancer

As if there weren’t enough reasons to give-up sugary fizzy drinks, a new Swedish study has perhaps added another persuader to this. In addition to helping to rot teeth and adding extra inches to your waistline due to the massive sugar content, there have been studies to emerge this year that have found that fizzy drinks can have even more detrimental effects to health. For instance, in February it was revealed in an Australian study that soft drinks could result in an increased danger of developing asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Then in June, high levels of the dangerous colouring agent 4-methylimidazole (4-MI)  were found in cans of Coca-Cola in numerous countries around the world, a chemical shown in tests to be connected to cancer within some animals. Past research has also linked brittle bones, heart attacks, diabetes, pancreatic cancer, muscle weakness and even paralysis as possible dangers from the long-term heavy consumption of such drinks.

The new study, conducted by scientists at Lund University in Sweden, has found evidence that shows men who consume just one solitary 300ml soft drink each day  – less than a standard 330ml can – could be at a 40% higher risk at developing serious forms of prostate cancer; the most prevalent type of cancer in UK males. This is in comparison to men who refrain from drinking soft drinks.

Prostate cancer develops in the prostate – a gland in the male reproductive system. In the UK alone there are an estimated 36,000 to 40,000 men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer and there are about 250,000 men currently living with the disease. It tragically claims the lives of over 10,000 men in the UK every year.

The Swedish study involved tracking 8,000 healthy men who were aged between 45 to 73 years of age for an average of around 15 years.  All the men were in perfect health at the beginning of the study and were continually quizzed about their dietary preferences, including soft drink intake.

At the close of the study, the researchers compared the diets of the men who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer against that of the healthy men, and subsequently established a link between intake of sugary drinks and the potentially fatal disease.

Isabel Drake, Lund University researcher, commented on the study findings and said: “Among the men who drank a lot of soft drinks we saw an increased risk of prostate cancer of around 40 per cent.”

Their investigation also established some link between a less severe type of prostate cancer and large amounts of rice and pasta, cakes and biscuits, and sugary breakfast cereals that were in the subject’s diet.

However, before people start to panic and banish these foods from their diet completely, Dr Iain Frame, director of research at Prostate Cancer UK, attempted urged caution in interpreting the study findings and said:  “We cannot be certain whether any particular dietary pattern has a significant impact on a man’s risk of getting prostate cancer but it is highly unlikely that any single food source will lead to an increased chance of developing the disease.” In addition, Drake also stressed that more research would be required to fully prove any definite links between dietary choices and prostate cancer.

Symptoms of prostate cancer include: having to urinate more frequently, difficulty beginning to urinate, a feeling that your bladder has not been fully emptied and a weak flow of urine. If you are suffering with any symptoms similar to these you should visit your own GP as soon as possible for a check-up. The earlier prostate cancer is spotted – the better chance of treatment being effective and a full recovery can be made. If it is not prostate cancer then you may be one of 2.4 million men in the UK suffering from a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia. Also known as an enlarged prostate gland, it can be treated through the use of effective medication such as Flomax Relief, which eases the symptoms associated with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) of a BPH. Flomax works by relaxing muscles in the prostate gland, relaxing the muscles in the urethra (the tube from the bladder to the outside of the body).  This allows urine to travel more comfortably through the urethra, making it easier to urinate. Flomax is available today from the Medical Specialists Pharmacy chemist shop priced at just £8.75 for 14 capsules, or £15.95 for 28.

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