SUGARY DRINKS INCREASES HEART ATTACKS
Increase in sugar intake has been traditionally known for its association with weight gain, obesity, and also with Diabetes Mellitus Type 2. However, there seem to be no limits to the damages sugary drinks can cause. It has again been incriminated. This time it is shown to directly cause coronary heart disease leading to myocardial infarction.
In a recent study by Dr. Lawrence de Koning, et al titled “Sweetened beverage consumption, incident coronary heart disease, and biomarkers of risk in men” published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, the researchers concluded thus:
“Even a moderate amount of sugary beverage consumption — we are talking about one can of soda every day — is associated with a significant 20% increased risk of heart disease even after adjusting for a wide range of cardiovascular risk factors,”
Senior author Dr. Frank B Hu (Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA) said . “The increased risk is quite substantial, and I think has important public-health implications given the widespread consumption of soda, not only in the US but also increasing very rapidly in developing countries.”
Hu further says water is the best thing to drink, or coffee or tea. Fruit juice is “not a very good alternative, because of the high amount of sugar,” he adds, although if diluted with water, “it’s much better than a can of soda.”
And Hu went on to say although the current results apply only to men, prior data from his group in women in the Nurses’ Health Study [from 2009] were comparable, “which really boosts the credibility of the findings.”
Intake of sugar-sweetened drinks, but not artificially sweetened ones, was also significantly associated with increased triglycerides and several circulating inflammatory factors — including C-reactive protein, interleukin 6 (IL-6), and tumor-necrosis-factor receptor 1 (TNFr1) — as well as decreased HDL cholesterol, lipoprotein (a) (Lp[a]), and leptin (p < 0.02).
“Inflammation is a key factor in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease and cardiometabolic disease and could represent an additional pathway by which sugar-sweetened beverages influence risk,” say Hu et al.
“Doctors should set an example for their patients first,” he stresses. “Then, for people who already have heart disease or who are at high risk, physicians should be advising them to cut back on sugary beverages; it’s almost a no-brainer, like recommending that they stop smoking and do more exercise. The consumption of sugary beverages is a relatively easy behavior to change.”
And although this particular study included mostly white subjects and there are few data on the risk of cardiovascular disease associated with the consumption of soda in people of other ethnicities, there are data on its effect on type 2 diabetes in these groups, he says.
“It has been shown for minority groups — such as African Americans and Asians — that they are more susceptible to the detrimental effects” of sugary drinks on diabetes incidence, he notes.
To Sum it all up
This study found that men participating in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study had a significantly higher risk of a myocardial infarction if they consumed more sugar-sweetened beverages.
The same risk was not apparent for artificially sweetened beverages.
Men who frequently drink sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages may be putting themselves at risk of a heart attack.
This is one situation we can remedy with little efforts. We learn a habit; we can unlearn it easily for our own benefit. We can live longer with good life quality if we choose. This is one way to achieve this.
Lisa Nainggolan: A Soda a Day Raises CHD Risk by 20% (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/760100?src=mpnews&spon=34 )
Todd Neale, Senior Staff Writer, Medpage Today: Sugary Drinks Tied to More Heart Attacks (http://www.medpagetoday.com/Cardiology/MyocardialInfarction/31614?utm_source=share&utm_medium=mobile&utm_campaign=medpage%2Biphone%20app )
Primary source: Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association
De Koning L, et al “Sweetened beverage consumption, incident coronary heart disease, and biomarkers of risk in men” Circulation 2012; DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.111.067017.