After years of concerns about the health risks of drinking diet soda, researchers may have found a health benefit. A Yale University news release reports that researchers at the school have found that drinking artificially sweetened beverages is associated with a significantly lower risk of colon cancer recurrence and cancer death. The researchers found that in their 1,018-patient analysis, those who drank one or more 12-ounce serving of artificially sweetened beverages per day experienced a 46 percent improvement in risk of cancer recurrence or death, compared to those who didn’t drink these beverages. The researchers defined “soft drinks” as caffeinated colas, caffeine-free colas, and other carbonated beverages (such as diet ginger ale). The study was one of several designed to find associations between specific foods/drinks and colon cancer risk and death, not to prove definitive cause and effects. Another study found that people who drank coffee had a substantially reduced risk of cancer recurrence and death, and another found a similar benefit for those who ate tree nuts.