The ‘one a day’ that skyrockets women’s liver cancer risk

Most cases of liver cancer are traceable to clear risk factors such as chronic hepatitis, alcohol use, diabetes, or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

But a full forty percent of cases are not attributable to any of these factors.

Considering that by the end of 2022, about 30,000 people are estimated to die from liver cancer, two public health researchers raised the question of whether the dietary habits of that forty percent might play a role in the development of liver cancer.

Not surprisingly, the answer turned out to be “yes.”

But there was one surprise… the shockingly high risk of liver cancer that came in as little as one drink a day…

Sugary drinks skyrocket the odds of liver cancer

A study of more than 90,000 postmenopausal women found that drinking at least one sugar-sweetened beverage a day was associated with a marked increase in their chances of developing liver cancer, compared with women who drank fewer than three such drinks per month.

“Our findings suggest sugar-sweetened beverage consumption is a potential modifiable risk factor for liver cancer,” said Longgang Zhao, a doctoral candidate at the University of South Carolina, the study’s lead author.

Zhao co-authored the research with Dr. Xuehong Zhang, an associate epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

The two study authors evaluated data from 90,504 who took part in the Women’s Health Initiative, a long-term study that was started in the early 1990s.

They used food-frequency questionnaires completed by subjects to measure sugar-sweetened beverage consumption, and medical records to confirm liver cancer diagnoses.

The numbers speak for themselves…

Compared with women who never drank sugar-sweetened drinks (or consumed less than three servings per month), women who drank one or more sugar-sweetened beverages per day were 78 percent more likely to develop liver cancer.

Even consuming just one such drink per day increased the likelihood of liver cancer by 73 percent.

Swap for these liver-loving drinks

Even before the present research, we knew that sugary drinks like sodas and fruit drinks could raise cancer risk, particularly for breast cancer. And for years, experts have advised keeping clear of them.

The trend in the last few years shows some people are listening. Sales have started to fall for these cancer drinks. But Dr. Zhao’s research shows the damage that just a few of these drinks can do.

“If our findings are confirmed, reducing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption might serve as a public health strategy to reduce liver cancer burden. Replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with water, and non-sugar-sweetened coffee or tea could significantly lower liver cancer risk.”

So, what are the better choices? Water-based drinks like coffee and tea — which have been found in previous research to offer serious liver protection.

Rich in antioxidants and minerals, green tea is especially renowned for its benefits related to cancer prevention.

Not only that, green tea has been shown to dramatically reduce liver fat and help guard against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which can increase your risk for liver cancer.

Prefer coffee over tea? Great news there, too. We’ve heard that coffee is a liver-protecting beverage, but depending on how much you drink, it may lower hepatocellular cancer (which can occur in people with liver disease) by as much as 50 percent — not too shabby!

Now, Dr. Zhao suggests taking your coffee and tea without sugar, but even if you have to add just one teaspoon, that’s certainly much less than the 10-12 teaspoons you get in one can of soda.

But it’s worth trying to cut the amount of sugar down by half to gradually go sugar-free. A tiny pinch of salt can counter the bitterness of black coffee. Better, buy a high-quality coffee since you’ll save lots of money on sugar.

Lastly, drink more water. If you can, install a water filter or use a filtering pitcher, that’s even better. Bottled water, and even tap water, to a lesser degree, have become sources of microplastics that carry a host of health problems we’re just starting to learn more about.

Editor’s note: Discover how to live a cancer prevention lifestyle — using foods, vitamins, minerals and herbs — as well as little-known therapies allowed in other countries but denied to you by American mainstream medicine. Click here to discover Surviving Cancer! A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding the Causes, Treatments and Big Business Behind Medicine’s Most Frightening Diagnosis!


Harvard Doctor Discovers That Drinking Sugary Drinks Increases Your Risk of Liver Cancer by 73% — Sci Tech Daily

Liver Health: 5 Healthy Drinks To Cleanse Your Liver Naturally — NDTV Food

Joyce Hollman

By Joyce Hollman

Joyce Hollman is a writer based in Kennebunk, Maine, specializing in the medical/healthcare and natural/alternative health space. Health challenges of her own led Joyce on a journey to discover ways to feel better through organic living, utilizing natural health strategies. Now, practicing yoga and meditation, and working towards living in a chemical-free home, her experiences make her the perfect conduit to help others live and feel better naturally.