1-2 sugary beverages per day increases heart disease risk by 35 percent

A new study review is suggesting that aerated drinks and all other beverages sweetened with sugar can significantly increase an individual’s risk of having cardiovascular disease. According to the review authors, the extra sugar added to sweet teas, energy drinks, fruit drinks and soft drinks can have strong impacts on our health and thereby can increase our chances of having stroke, heart attack and cardiovascular disease of other types.

Vasanti Malik, a nutrition research scientist at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said that consuming just one or two beverages sweetened using sugar on a daily basis can increase one’s chances of having a fatal cardiovascular disease or a heart attack by as much as 35%. The habit, on the other hand, elevates one’s chances of developing type-2 diabetes and having a stroke respectively by 26% and 16%.

According to Malik, the heart disease epidemic cannot be controlled just by reducing consumption of sugary drinks. However, she added that controlling consumption of such beverages is surely a step boasting the potential of having a significant impact. In other words, although avoiding sugary beverages is not the only thing that one needs to do to keep his or heart healthy, it’s surely an extremely important thing.

The researchers have pointed out that a key finding presented by the review of studies conducted to determine the impact of sweet beverages on our health is the kind of role fructose plays in making us more susceptible to cardiovascular conditions.

Unlike other sugar types, for instance glucose, which get united by insulin when moving into the cells to allow the body to use them as fuel, fructose possesses the ability of traveling alone. When fructose gets processed in our liver, it can transform into triglycerides. Triglycerides, which are often referred to as blood fats, can lead to insulin resistance, one of the most prominent causes of both heart disease and diabetes.

Prof. Frank Hu, who teaches epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard school, is the lead author of the review. He said that fructose consumption occurs rarely in isolation. According to him, the major sources of fructose in our diet are the fructose-rich sugars, high fructose corn syrup, and sucrose present in sugary beverages.

The report, which has been published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, is suggesting that sugary drinks might also have links with conditions like kidney stones, gout and gallstones.