A new study has shown that the same drinks can trigger a wide range of cancers that are not related to alcohol.
The study looked at how a cocktail of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, and Pepsi might affect lung cancer, stomach cancer, kidney cancer, and stomach and rectum cancer, among other cancers.
The drinks all contain ingredients such as fructose, sugar, maltodextrin, and aspartame, which has been linked to adverse health effects such as weight gain, diabetes, and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
However, when scientists looked at the effects of drinking a cocktail with three other drinks, such as Mountain Dew, Sprite, and Diet Pepsi, the results were different.
“What’s surprising is that the effects [of drinking the three drinks] were all on the same group of patients,” study author Dr. Sarah C. Smith told ABC News.
“I think this suggests that there is something that happens at the molecular level that we don’t yet know about,” Smith said.
“We don’t have the answers yet, but it looks like the effects are probably quite strong.”
The study was published online last month in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.
Smith said she had hoped that her research would lead to new treatments for cancers such as lung cancer and stomach cancer.
“The idea is to be able to find ways to identify the mechanisms at which cancer is triggered,” Smith told Business Insider.
“It’s a really important question, because I think it is something we’re missing out on.”
A cocktail of five drinks is likely to contain up to three different ingredients, depending on which one you drink.
However, the amount of alcohol varies widely from drink to drink, and some drinks have a much higher concentration of alcohol than others.
Drinking three or four drinks a day is also associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer.
In fact, drinking three drinks a night is linked to a reduced rate of lung cancers, but not breast cancer.
Smith told ABCNews.com that she hopes the findings will encourage scientists to better understand the complex pathways that lead to cancer and help them develop more effective treatments.
“This could lead to a lot of really interesting therapeutic applications for cancer patients,” she said.
A similar study published last year found that people who drank three drinks of red wine a day were four times more likely than those who drank two drinks to develop prostate cancer.
And Smith said she hopes to replicate the results from her study by comparing the risk of cancer associated with the same mix of three drinks.
“That’s the next step in what we’re doing,” she told Business Insiders.
“There’s still a lot that we have to know.”
You can read more about the study and its findings at the link below.
The new study appears in the American Journal of Epidemiology.