Men who drink a can of soft drink a day could be increasing their risk of aggressive prostate cancer by 40 percent, according to a Swedish study.
Researchers from Lund University also found men who ate a lot of sugary cereals increased their risk of milder forms of prostate cancer by 38 percent. While a high carbohydrate diet that included a lot of pasta and rice increased their chance of low-risk prostate cancer by 31 percent.
About 20,000 Australian men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and 3,300 men die of prostate cancer each year.
The study, to be published in the upcoming edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, looked at more than 8000 men aged 45 to 73 over an average period of 15 years.
"Among the men who drank a lot of soft drinks or other drinks with added sugar, we saw an increased risk of prostate cancer of around 40 per cent," study author Isabel Drake said.
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The men kept a food and drink journal and underwent regular medical examinations.
Those who drank 330ml of soft drink a day were found to be 40 percent more likely to get a dangerous form of prostate cancer that required medical treatment.
Other studies have found that drinking soft drink increases women's risk of stroke, and it's also been linked with osteoarthritis.
Dr Anthony Lowe, CEO of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, told ninemsn that soft drink itself is probably not cancer-causing, but that the authors used it as a "poster child" for an unhealthy diet.
"The problem with studies like this is that we are all consuming lots of things every day and separating out the different factors is hard," he said.
"Really, if you're to ask me if they managed to show that soft drinks cause prostate cancer, I would say I don't think so."
However Dr Lowe said following a healthy diet is always a good idea for our health.
"What everybody knows and accepts is that the best advice is to have a healthy diet, eat plenty of fruit and veg and exercise regularly," he said.
"They have shown that a bad diet is not a good thing to have."