Why Drinking Just One Soda a Day Could Be Risky
The scientific community has released yet more bad news for those who love sodas. A new study published in Circulation finds that drinking as little as one sugary beverage per day may significantly increase the risk of heart attacks. The authors characterize the results as suggesting such beverages have a detrimental effect on the heart that is above and beyond traditional risk factors, Medpage Today reports.
Over a 20-year period, Harvard researchers conducted an evaluation of 43,000 men, which involved administering blood tests, as well as taking questionnaires regarding their dietary habits. They found that men who consumed one 12-ounce sugary drink per day increased their risk of developing heart disease by 20 percent. Even after controlling for other risk factors such as smoking, a sedentary lifestyle and alcohol use, the risk persisted. In addition to incurring more heart attacks, these men also had more inflammation and greater levels of harmful fats in the blood. Drinking these beverages less often, such as twice per week or twice per month did not appear to increase the risk.
Commenting on the study, the chief cardiologist at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y., opined that there is no need for further research on sugary beverages. He elaborates that the American Heart Association advises limiting the consumption of calories from these drinks to mo more than 350 calories per week, which is less than three cans of soda, HealthDay notes.
The study’s authors provided assessments and explanations regarding the results, CBS News records. Author Frank B. Hu asserts that the research augments the expanding evidence indicating sugary beverages are harmful to cardiovascular health. Another scientist involved in the study, Walter Willett, states that most 12-ounce sodas have 10 teaspoons of sugar, but many soda drinkers choose 20-ounce bottles, which have as much as 18 teaspoons of sugar. Willett says that regularly subjecting our bodies to such high amounts of sugar stimulates large releases of insulin, which results in stress that can eventually lead to heart disease and diabetes.
While the latest study dealt exclusively with men, earlier research shows sugary beverages have a detrimental effect on women as well. A November study revealed women who habitually consumed such drinks had levels of triglycerides and blood sugar that were nearly four times greater than women who did not consume sodas.
Heart disease is the number one killer in America, responsible for over 600,000 deaths per year. Aside from the increased risk of heart disease and diabetes from sugary beverages, recent research has also linked it to a cluster of other maladies, including headaches, bone loss, and obesity, along with strokes, insomnia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.
Article updated on: April 2nd, 2012