If you or your loved ones are among the approximately 17 out of 100 Americans who still drink at least one soda a day, new research should help you rethink that decision. Soda consumption still runs at a stunning 44 gallons per American average. The good news ... that is down from 56 gallons a year in 1983! The bad news? Drinking soda daily may age you as much as smoking cigarettes, damage your DNA and is associated with higher risk of disease!
New research from UCSF was published in the American Journal of Public Health
recently. The study included 5,309 participants who were aged 20 to 65 years-old with no history of diabetes or cardiovascular disease and was conducted to investigate the link between soda consumption and current health issues. Researchers found that people who drink more soda have shorter telomeres in white blood cells. Telomeres are protective units of DNA that cap the ends of chromosomes in cells, in white blood cells they are associated with age-related diseases including cancer, diabetes and heart disease. The length of telomeres in white blood cells is also associated with human lifespan.
These findings add to the list of health problems caused by our addiction to sugary drink -- obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease are the most commonly cited.
- A study published in the November, 2010 issue of Diabetes Care found that people who drink regularly drink one or more sugary drinks per day are 26% more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who do not.
- A 2012 study published in Circulation followed 40,000 men for two decades and found that those who drank a single can of sugary beverage per day had a 20% higher risk of having a heart attack or dying from a heart attack than men who who did not. Another study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found found a similar sugary beverage, heart disease link for women.
- A 22-year-long study of 80,000 women -- published in the July, 2008 Archives of Internal Medicine -- found that women who consumed a can a day of sugary drink had a 75% higher risk of gout than women who did not.
- Diet drinks have also come under fire -- for their role in raising the risk of metabolic syndrome.
Take heart! A September, 2013 study published in Lancet Oncology
found that lifestyle changes including exercise and diet, may reverse this damage and lengthen telomeres! The best response to the health risks raised by soda is to take a walk and the next time you're thirsty ... reach for the water!
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