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April 7, 2012

Are You Willing to Die for that Soft Drink?

Weight gain and type 2 diabetes has been associated with consumption of soft drinks, but it probably does not end there.  This study published in Circulation suggests that consumption of sugar sweetened beverages is also related to an increased incidence of heart disease, adverse changes in cholesterol profile, and elevation of some inflammatory markers.

This study did not find an increase risk of heart disease with consumption of artificially sweeten beverages, but that does not mean that artificial sweeteners don’t have adverse health effects. See articles referenced below.

Each additional serving per day of a sugar sweetened beverage increase the risk of heart disease 19% to 25%. One soft drink typically contains 40 grams of sugar or about 10 teaspoons of sugar in your favorite soft drink. Would you eat 10 teaspoons of sugar directly? Probably not.

The Link Between a Soft Drink and Heart Disease

Inflammation is very much a key component to heart disease and sugar does increase inflammation.  We also know that sugar increases the amounts of small dense LDL particles. Those are the particles that can get under the inner layer of blood vessels leading to plague build-up and hardening of the arteries.  So those are two mechanisms that explain why sugar sweeten beverages increase the risk of heart disease.  Plus, excessive sugar whether it be in a soft drink or something else leads to fat gain. Fat is also very inflammatory and puts additional strain on the heart and cardiovascular system. There are most likely other mechanisms by which sugar is detrimental to our health.

Do you really want to die for that soft drink? If you are thirsty, instead of reaching for that soft drink, stop! And, drink water instead.

See related articles.

Sweeteners: to Sweeten or not Sweeten?”

“Coffee and Your Health”

“Sugar: the News Isn’t So Sweet”

 

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Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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