With all the attention on red meat and mortality, you may have missed the research showing that men who drank just one 12-once sugar-sweetened beverage a day had higher risk of heart disease than those who didn’t drink any.
Sugary beverages are already associated with type 2 diabetes and weight gain (the AICR expert report and its updates link sugary drinks to weight gain, overweight and obesity). There’s less evidence on cardiovascular disease.
In this study of over 42,000 men, researchers looked at whether sugary beverages link to coronary heart disease (CHD). The men were followed for 22 years and they completed a food frequency questionnaire every four years.
The study authors found that for one serving per day increase in sugar-sweetened beverage intake, the men’s risk of CHD increased by 19% even when adjusting for a number of lifestyle-related factors including body mass index (BMI), smoking, physical activity, overall diet quality, weight change and dieting.
In 2009, results from the Nurses’ Health study linked a one serving per day increase in sugar sweetened beverages to a 15% increase in CHD risk.
The researchers in the men’s study did not find evidence that artificially sweetened beverages had an effect on CHD risk.
Kids of all ages and incomes are still eating too much added sugar, finds a government report released today.
The findings by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) show that children and teens are consuming an average of 16 percent of their daily calories from added sugars.
On average, boys consumed 362 calories from added sugars and girls 282 calories. As children grew older they ate more added sugars. And they ate them mostly at home. Children and teenagers ate two-thirds of their total added sugar consumption at home. Almost six of every ten added sugar calories came from food, rather than a drink.
From the many news reports on the recent pancreatic cancer study, it’s enough to make one drop that soda can in fear. Although it’s probably a good idea to put the soda down, the stories on a study linking fructose to pancreatic cancer cell growth are overly alarming.
Here are the study basics: UCLA researchers added glucose to one set of pancreatic cancer cells and fructose to another set of cells. Fructose and glucose are both simple sugars. Previous research has shown that cancer cells metabolize sugar at faster rates than healthy cells and the scientists in this study were looking at the different actions of the two sugars.
After letting all the cells sit, the study found that both sugars led to increased cancer cell growth but the cancer cells metabolized the sugars in two different ways. In the case of fructose, the pancreatic cancer cells used the sugar to generate nucleic acids, the building blocks of RNA and DNA, which the cancer cells need to divide and proliferate. When metabolizing glucose, the cancer cells generated far more lactate and carbon dioxide, as well as fatty acids, which play a role in cancer growth.
Glucose and fructose both increased cancer cell growth at similar rates.
The study was published in Cancer Research and you can read about it here.
The findings are interesting but more research is needed before it can be used to make recommendations on public health. This is one study, and it is a cell study. Also, what this study did show is that both sugars increased cancer cell growth.