Sweet Drinks and Heart Disease


Sweetened Beverage Consumption increases Coronary Heart Disease and Biomarkers of Risk in Men

According to an article published on line March 12, 2012 in Circulation-The Journal of the American Heart Association, “consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages was associated with increased risk of CHD and some adverse changes in lipids, inflammatory factors, and leptin.” After adjusting for age, smoking, physical activity, alcohol, multivitamins, family history, diet quality, energy intake, BMI, pre-enrollment weight change and dieting, those with higher sugar-sweetened beverage intake had a significantly higher relative risk of CHD (coronary heart disease). In fact, “a one serving per day increase in sugar- sweetened beverage intake, the risk of CHD increased by 19%!” Intake of sugar-sweetened but not artificially sweetened beverages was significantly associated with increased triglycerides, decreased HDL, and Leptin-a hormone which inhibits appetite. It was also associated with an increase in various inflammatory markers.” They went on to say “Artificially sweetened beverage intake was not associated with CHD risk or biomarkers.” This is not surprising. Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has been repeatedly associated with weight gain and type 2 diabetes. (In an analysis of the Nurses’ Health Study, sugar-sweetened beverage intake was associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) even after adjustment for body fat and type 2 diabetes suggesting that other mechanisms are involved. – optional)

While some have argued that consumption of diet soda does not reduce calorie consumption, At least it’s not associated with these adverse cardiovascular risk factors. One should avoid sugar sweetened as well as artificially sweetened beverages anyway. How about a glass of water?

Adapted from Sweetened Beverage Consumption, Incident Coronary Heart Disease and Biomarkers of Risk in Men, de Koning et al, Circulation published online March 12, 2012

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