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This Coffee Habit Might Increase Your Risk of Cancer, New Study Says

The way you drink coffee may not be the best for you.

A fresh cup of coffee in the morning can help kickstart your day, or it can act as a nice midday boost to keep you going. Aside from its jolt thanks to the caffeine, coffee also comes with some pretty interesting health benefits such as helping with inflammation, shrinking abdominal fat, and even lowering the risk of Alzheimer's. However, it's best to drink coffee in moderation because it also comes with negative side effects, so it's important to watch your coffee habits and intake. (Here's How Much Coffee You Can Have in a Day).

Even if you like drinking coffee to feel more alert or awake, that doesn't mean you're a fan of the taste. Many people like to cover the taste of coffee with added sugars and creamers, leading to added more calories and saturated fat. These additives also come with other problems that could affect your health.

A new study by PLOS Medicine Journal suggests that adding artificial sweeteners to your diet could be associated with increased cancer risk.

Researchers in the study analyzed data from 102,865 French adults participating in the NutriNet-Santé study– an ongoing web-based research design that follows groups of people over time, initiated in 2009 by the Nutritional Epidemiology Research Team (EREN). Participants enrolled voluntarily and self-reported medical history, sociodemographic, diet, lifestyle, and health data. The researchers proceeded to gather data concerning artificial sweetener intake from 24-hour dietary records. Once they collected the cancer diagnosis information during follow-up, the researchers then conducted statistical analyses to investigate the associations between artificial sweetener intakes and cancer risk.

The results concluded that the volunteers who consumed larger amounts of artificial sweeteners, particularly aspartame, a much sweeter version of sugar, and acesulfame-K, a low-calorie artificial sweetener, had higher risk of overall cancer compared to non-consumers. Higher risks were observed for breast cancer and obesity-related cancers.

Woman pouring sugar into coffee

The authors in the study went on to say that their findings "do not support the use of artificial sweeteners as safe alternatives for sugar in foods or beverages and provide important and novel information to address the controversies about their potential adverse health effects."

When it comes to sweetening up your coffee, most coffee creamers add in a lot of artificial sweeteners to help amp up the flavor. For example, according to a study published by the Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, acesulfame-K is found in common creamers including liquid and powder forms.

This isn't the first time a study has suggested a link between high consumption of artificial sweeteners and increased cancer risk. The National Cancer Institute does point out a few studies that have been done, but also notes that further research will need to be made in order to make a final conclusion about the suggested link.

If you can't break away from the habit of adding flavor into your coffee, there are ways to make your coffee consumption healthier, including creamer swaps and measuring your sweetener intake.

For more on coffee creamers, here are The Best Coffee Creamers for Belly Fat—Ranked!

Kayla Garritano
Kayla Garritano graduated from Hofstra University, where she majored in Journalism and double minored in Marketing and Creative Writing. Read more about Kayla
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