Cotton candy and cotton textile products may help prevent some cancers and improve moods, according to a team of researchers led by Harvard University.
Their findings appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“Cotton candy is known for its ability to stimulate the appetite,” said Dr. David Weigel, an associate professor in the Harvard School of Public Health.
“But there’s also some evidence that cotton candy can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
We wanted to know whether cotton candy is actually helping you feel good or not.”
The researchers analyzed data from the Nurses’ Health Study, which follows 1.4 million women who were followed for about 30 years.
About two-thirds of the women consumed cotton candy.
The researchers found that those who drank the sweetener drank significantly less fluid than those who didn’t.
They also found that the sweeteners’ effect on blood sugar increased after about 30 days.
The team is currently analyzing data from a second Nurses Health Study.
“Our results suggest that there’s a sweetener-induced effect, so the next step is to test that hypothesis,” Weigel said.
In the meantime, the researchers plan to test more sweeteners, including saccharin, and other foods.
The researchers say they’re currently testing whether the sweetners actually help treat cancer.
“Our findings are very encouraging,” Weig said.
“We believe these findings will help us better understand the relationship between sweeteners and health.”