September 1, 2023 | 06:00 GMT+7
Many say the tapioca pearls in bubble tea contain chemicals that can cause cancer. Is it true? (Linh, 27 years old, Hanoi)
No research has shown that bubble tea can cause cancer.
The belief that this drink can cause cancer may come from German research that showed that tapioca pearls sold at a bubble tea store contained styrene and acetophenone. The first is a chemical often used in production and can also be found in naturally occurring foods.
Meanwhile, the latter is a chemical compound used to make food flavors and is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
Some animal experiments show that styrene can cause cancer. However, it is not established whether the chemical exists in all types of bubble tea or only those used in research. The research itself has not been published or peer-reviewed, so its results have not been accepted.
No research has shown that bubble tea can cause cancer. Photo illustration by Freepik
However, bubble tea contains a large amount of sugar, so you should consume this drink in limited quantities. In general, a 475 ml cup of bubble tea contains around 300 calories and 38 grams of sugar. Sugar-containing drinks like bubble tea can be detrimental to your health, as they can cause obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and liver problems.
Research has shown the correlation between the consumption of sugary drinks and the risks of breast, liver, prostate and ovarian cancer.
It is recommended to keep the amount of sugar consumed below 10% of daily calorie intake. For example, the average adult consumes 2,000 calories per day, which means that energy from their sugar intake should not exceed 200 calories. Each gram of sugar provides the body with 4 calories. It is therefore recommended that adults consume no more than 50 grams of sugar per day.
A 475 ml cup of bubble tea contains 38 grams of sugar, which represents 76% of the maximum amount of sugar ingested per day.
If you are a bubble tea lover, it is recommended to consume this drink with a reduced sugar level, a smaller size or without garnish.
Vietnamese Institute of Applied Medicine