Soft Drinks, The Hard Truth

Sorry to burst your bubbles: fizzy drinks may raise your risk of liver cancer, according to a European Journal of Nutrition study. People who sipped six or more cooldrinks a week were 83% more likely to develop liver cancer than those who steer clear of the stuff, the authors found. They speculate that your liver may quickly absorb the sugars in carbonated drinks and convert them to fat, which in turn builds up in the organ and causes inflammation. As for the diet ones, each one you glug weekly could raise your cancer risk by 6%. So go with H2O – or if that’s a shock to your fizzy-ology, reach for some flavoured sparkling water.

Cancer Likes Your Type

When is an A an F? When a man’s blood type increases his cancer risk. A study recently published in BMC Medicine found that people with blood type A, AB or B were 55% more likely to develop stomach cancer than those with type O. Study author Dr Arash Etemadi explains that people with non-O blood types tend to have a different inflammatory response to the stomach bug H. pylori, resulting in  an increased risk of stomach cancer. Fight back with fitness: research also shows that moderate exercise can slash your risk of the disease in half.

Turn Down the Death Metal

This tastes toxic: a heavy metal found in certain foods, such as oysters, may shorten your life, suggests research from George Washington University. Study participants with the highest blood levels of cadmium had significantly shorter telomeres – genetic material found at the ends of chromosomes. In fact, their telomeres resembled those of people 11 years older. This amount of cellular aging can raise your heart disease and cancer risk, says study author Dr Ami Zota. Protect yourself by avoiding tobacco smoke and limiting your intake of shellfish – two major sources of the metal. And opt for organic produce, which has about half the cadmium content of the conventional kind.

Skip The Stones Reunion

Rock may beat scissors, but coffee beats rock. Caffeine may help protect you from kidney stones, a recent Italian study concludes. People who reported downing about 580 milligrams of caffeine a day – an amount equivalent to one tall and one large coffee – were 30% less likely to be stricken with a stone than those who drank little to none. According to study author Dr Pietro Manuel Ferraro, caffeine increases your output of urine, which helps dilute stone-forming compounds. Not a java junkie? Even just one cup a day could help protect against kidney stones, says Ferraro.