Researchers continue to study the link between diet and cancer, as diet is one easily identifiable and changeable lifestyle factor that may help prevent the development of the disease. Coffee, tea, and soft drinks are among the most commonly consumed beverages in the world. Some studies have suggested that they decrease the risk of cancer, whereas others have indicated that they increase the risk.
Researchers from Harvard analyzed the data from 13 studies conducted in North America and Europe. Combined, the studies included 731,441 subjects, 5,604 of whom developed colon cancer. The researchers found that individuals who drank large amounts of coffee (six or more 8-oz cups a day) were no more likely to develop colon cancer than those who drank less. Similarly, individuals who drank more than 18 oz of sugar-sweetened carbonated beverages did not have an increased risk of colon cancer. The results remained the same after adjusting for age, sex, smoking status, alcohol consumption, BMI, and tumor location.
High consumption of non-herbal tea (more than four 8-oz cups per day) was associated with a modest increase in colon cancer risk, however the researchers cautioned that more study is needed to verify those results.
The researchers concluded that drinking coffee and sugar-sweetened sodas was not associated with colon cancer risk; however, more study will be necessary, especially among younger subjects who most commonly consume sugary sodas.