SciRep: sugary drinks don't cause cancer but contribute to tooth decay

June 13, 2024  17:32

Researchers at New York University's Grossman School of Medicine have found no link between the consumption of sugary drinks and the development of cancer. However, they found that sugar in juices and sodas changes the microbial composition of the oral cavity, contributing to the destruction of teeth and gums. The results of the study were published in the journal Scientific Reports (SciRep).

More than 70,000 people participated in the study. Among them were volunteers who had previously been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer or malignant tumors of the head and neck. Scientists analyzed the diets of all volunteers and determined how many sweet drinks they usually consumed. The sweet category included juices, sodas, tea, lemonades and coffee drinks with natural sugar.

The study found no significant associations between the consumption of sugary drinks and the development of cancer. However, the scientists found that "liquid sugar" had a negative effect on the bacterial composition of the oral microbiome.

Specifically, consumption of sugar-rich beverages was associated with a higher relative abundance of taxa (a type of microorganism) of the Bifidobacteriaceae family, including Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Streptococcus tigurinus. In contrast, bacteria of the Fusobacteriales (Leptotrichia and Campylobacter) and the genera Lachnospiraceae and Peptostreptococcaceae became fewer in sweet drinkers.

Scientists noted that such changes in the microbiome can lead to the development of deep caries, an increase in the intensity of plaque formation and the appearance of gum pockets - pathological formations that are formed in inflammatory gum disease.

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