April 4, 2016

364 Soda Pop [4 April 2016]

“Sugar-sweetened soda consumption is consistently associated with an increased risk of several chronic inflammatory diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases” begins the abstract to a 2014 study on soda consumption and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

This study followed nearly 200,000 women from two Nurses’ Health Studies spanning nearly four decades totaling 3,381,268 person years. Information on soda consumption was obtained from a food-frequency questionnaire at baseline and approximately every four years there-after. During the study period 857 cases of RA were documented. After adjusting for known variables, the researchers found that women who consumed one or more servings of sugar sweetened soda per day had a 63% greater risk of developing seropositive RA than those who drank none. For later onset (after age 55) RA the risk was even greater. No association was found for seronegative RA or for diet soda consumption.

Similarly a 2014 systematic review and meta-analysis of five studies examined the associations of sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened soda with chronic kidney disease (CKD). They found statistically significant increased risks of CKD with sugar-sweetened soda consumption but not with artificially sweetened soda.

But fruit juice and artificially sweetened beverages aren’t much better when it comes to risk of Type II Diabetes (T2D) and weight gain. A 2015 systematic review and meta-analysis concluded that while sugar sweetened beverages increased the risk of T2D (as would be expected), so also did fruit juice and artificially sweetened beverages, although to a lesser extent. Another study found that fruit juice with added sugar, but not 100% fruit juice, was associated with increased risk of T2D. A 2015 U. of Texas study found that seniors who consumed diet soda over 10 years increased their waist size (belly fat) by 70 to 500% more than those who didn’t. Other studies have found an association between diet soda consumption and risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

Consumption of sweetened beverages is a deceptive way to add calories to your diet. A 1 liter bottle of Cola has 108 grams (27 teaspoons) of sugar with 400 calories. It would take 5 large apples to equal that in sugar. Next to quitting smoking, eliminating soda and other sweetened beverages could be the best thing you could do for your health.

For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

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