In as little as two weeks, a daily dose of a sugary beverage can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in healthy young subjects. That was the riveting conclusion from a clinical trial that is the first to show a direct dose-response relationship between sugary beverage consumption and risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
For this two-week study, researchers assigned 85 healthy young adults to a daily quota of sugary beverage consumption equivalent to either 0 percent, 10 percent, 17.5 percent, or 25 percent of their daily calorie requirements. Those assigned to the 0 percent group consumed a beverage sweetened artificially. All study subjects had their blood levels for several markers of cardiovascular disease monitored repeatedly both before and after the study. For study subjects consuming the sugary beverages, there were noted increases in their blood markers for heart disease across the board, with greater daily sugary beverage intakes translating to higher numbers.
Even study subjects consuming the lowest dose of sugary beverages experienced significant changes in their cardiovascular risk markers, including an increase in LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides. The study’s lead researcher commented, “These findings clearly indicate that humans are acutely sensitive to the harmful effects of excess sugar over a broad range of consumption levels.”
Drinking sugary beverages is arguably the most fattening and body-damaging, yet under-recognized of all high risk dietary practices. 50 percent of Americans still consume sugary beverages on a daily basis. Help spread the word on how bad they are for health. (Am J Clin Nutr, April 2015 DOI: 10.3945/ajcn. 114.100461)
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