Soda may be a catalyst for aging

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the Clinical Advisor take:

Patients who drink sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda, may be speeding up the effects of aging, research published in the American Journal of Public Health suggests.

Leukocyte telomere length, which triggers healthy cellular aging, “may provide a link between sugar sweetened beverage consumption and the risk of cardiometabolic disease,” according to Cindy W. Leung, ScD, of the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues.

To test the association between leukocyte telomere length and SSB consumption, including soda, fruit juice, and diet soda, and its effects on healthy diet, they examined 5,309 patients, aged 20 to 65 years. All participants were free of diabetes or cardiovascular disease at baseline.

Leukocyte telomere length was assayed from DNA specimens, and the investigators assessed patients' diets using 24-hour dietary recalls.

Sugar sweetened beverage consumption was associated with shorter telomeres (95% CI: −0.020, −0.001; P=0.04) after the researchers adjusted for sociodemographic and health-related characteristics. Consumption of fruit juice was marginally associated with longer telomeres (95% CI: 0.000, 0.033; P=0.05). No significant associations were observed between consumption of diet sodas or noncarbonated sugar sweetened beverages and telomere length.

“Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened sodas might influence metabolic disease development through accelerated cell aging,” concluded the researchers.

Shorter telomeres were associated with increased soda consumption, which is an indication of cellular aging.

Drinking soda may speed up aging process
Drinking soda may speed up aging process

We tested whether leukocyte telomere length maintenance, which underlies healthy cellular aging, provides a link between sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption and the risk of cardiometabolic disease.

Methods. We examined cross-sectional associations between the consumption of SSBs, diet soda, and fruit juice and telomere length in a nationally representative sample of healthy adults. The study population included 5309 US adults, aged 20 to 65 years, with no history of diabetes or cardiovascular disease, from the 1999 to 2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Leukocyte telomere length was assayed from DNA specimens.

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