Just one full-fat fizzy drink a day in your 40s may ‘increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke’ | Daily News


 

Just one full-fat fizzy drink a day in your 40s may ‘increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke’

Just one can of full-fat fizzy juice a day in middle-age may increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke, according to new research.

The 330ml sugar-laden beverages send cholesterol levels soaring, increasing the risk of clots that cut off blood supply to the heart or brain.

Researchers from Tufts University in Massachusetts studied almost 6,000 over 40s for 12 years.

They found daily drinkers were twice as prone to low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) which helps keep arteries unblocked by the end of the study.

Compared to those who rarely touched soda, the group were also 53 per cent more likely to have large amounts of triglycerides - a fat that clogs up blood vessels and arteries.

Raised levels of triglycerides and low levels of HDL are a tell-tale sign of dyslipidemia, a condition that affects an estimated 1.5million people in the UK.

It has been dubbed the ‘silent killer’ because less than half of people are diagnosed and many are unaware of it until they suffer a stroke or heart attack.

When people consume sugar their blood glucose levels quickly rise, causing an immediate spike in insulin, the fat storage hormone.

Ingesting sugar frequently allows more fats like triglycerides to build up, increasing the risk of cutting off blood to the brain or heart.

Lead study author Professor Nicola McKeown, a nutritionist at Tufts University, said: ‘The results suggest high intake of drinks with added sugar, such as soda, lemonade or fruit punch, may influence risk for dyslipidemia as we age.

‘One dietary strategy to help maintain healthier blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels may be to avoid drinks with added sugars.’

Co-author Danielle Haslam added: ‘Our findings contribute to the mounting evidence that sugary drinks should be avoided to help maintain long-term health.’

Cardiovascular disease is the UK’s number one killer, claiming 170,000 lives a year. It affects around seven million Britons, and is responsible for one in four premature deaths.

The latest study analysed data from more than 5,900 middle aged and older US residents who were tracked for about 12 years.

High consumption of sugary beverages was linked to low HDL and high triglyceride levels.

This remained the case even for the youngest participants who were still in their 40s, said first author Dr Danielle Haslam - who is based in the same lab.

She said: ‘With these younger participants, we did see unfavourable changes, but they were likely too young during the short follow-up period to know if they would eventually develop dyslipidemia.

‘Our findings contribute to the mounting evidence that sugary drinks should be avoided to help maintain long-term health.’

Adults who drank at least one sugary beverage daily four years before an assessment of blood fats or lipids were 98 and 53 percent more likely to have low good cholesterol and high triglycerides, respectively.

The researchers observed similar results when they examined long-term intakes of the drinks throughout the 12-year study period.

Elevated bad LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol and triglycerides, along with low good cholesterol levels, indicate a higher risk for heart disease.

The researchers also studied 100 per cent fruit juice and diet drinks, common replacements for sugar-sweetened beverages, but found no consistent associations with adverse changes in cholesterol and increased risk of dyslipidemia. But they still urge moderation.

-Daily Mail 


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