While previous studies have linked consumption of sweetened beverages to inflammation and immune-mediated disorders, new research showed no evidence that it increases the risk for developing inflammatory bowel disease.
“We were interested in looking at the association between sweetened beverage and risk of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, mainly because of the growing concern about the role of these beverages in obesity epidemic,” Hamed Khalili, MD, of the Crohn’s and Colitis Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, told Healio Gastroenterology and Liver Disease. “Since there is increasing data on the role of obesity in inflammatory bowel disease, we thought that this is an important question that’s worth examining. We leveraged detailed dietary data from two large ongoing prospective cohort studies in Sweden and demonstrated that there is no association between higher sweetened beverage consumption and risk of later-onset Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.”
Khalili and colleagues analyzed dietary and lifestyle data on 83,042 men and women spanning 1997 through 2014. The food frequency questionnaires completed by participants defined sweetened beverages as soft drinks but did not differentiate between sugar-sweetened or artificially sweetened beverages, although national data indicated that artificially sweetened drinks accounted for 10% to 20% of soft drink consumption in Sweden. Fruit juices, syrups, energy and sports drinks, or sweetened coffee, tea, or milk were not considered sweetened beverages in this study.
After a mean follow-up of 11 years, 143 participants developed Crohn’s disease and 349 developed ulcerative colitis.
The investigators found no association between sweetened beverage consumption and a higher risk for developing either Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. The adjusted HRs for at least one daily serving vs. no consumption of sweetened beverages were 1.02 (95%; 0.6-1.73) for Crohn’s disease and 1.14 (95%; 0.83-1.57) for ulcerative colitis. The results were consistent across several sensitivity analyses and participant subgroups.
Khalili and colleagues noted that because the average age of IBD diagnosis in the study cohorts was older than 60 years, further research is warranted to determine if there is an association between sweetened beverage consumption and younger-onset IBD. – by Adam Leitenberger
Disclosures: Khalili reports financial relationships with AbbVie, Takeda, and Samsung Bioepis. Please see the full study for a list of all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.