Researchers for the Iowa Women’s Health Study assessed health related issues including dietary habits and intake, and the relationship with type I (estrogen related) and type II (estrogen independent) endometrial cancer. A total of 23,039 were evaluated with an average age at study onset of 62 years. A total of 592 invasive endometrial cancers were identified, 506 type I and 89 type II. After an adjustment calculation was made for body mass index, due to the association of obesity and endometrial cancer, those women who consumed the most sugar sweetened beverages compared with women who consumed the least, had a 78% higher risk for type I endometrial cancer. Fruit juice and sugar free beverages were not associated with the risk for type I endometriosis and none of the dietary ingredients studied were associated with the risk for type II endometrial cancer.
Commentary: You would not be surprised to know that sugar-sweetened beverages are a major source of sugar in the diet of U.S. women (and men and children). These beverages affect insulin and glucose levels more significantly than the sugars in whole foods. The intake of sugar sweetened beverages seems to parallel the rise in obesity. What is interesting here is that increased consumption of sugar sweetened beverages contribute to the risk for type I endometrial cancer, independent of body weight/obesity. That said, women who are obese and women with polycystic ovarian syndrome are at increased risk, and therefore our advice to avoid sugar sweetened beverages for these women can hold even more punch (and not the sweetened party drink!!!)
Inoue-Choi M, Robien K, Mariana A, et al. Sugar-sweetend beverage intake and the risk of type I and type II endometrial cancer among postmenopausal women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2013;22(12): 2384-2394