Study says: Drinking as little as one can of soda per day – either regular or diet- is associated with a 48% increased risk of “metabolic syndrome” a key predecessor of heart disease and diabetes, according to the new results re leased on 23rd. July”07. Researchers previously had known that drinking regular sodas contributed to the risk of metabolic syndrome, but this is the first finding implicating diet sodas, according to the results published on line in circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
The researchers were uncertain why diet soda had such a large effect. Dr. Vasan S. Ramachandran of Boston University School of Medicine, the lead author of the study, said it is unlukely that an ingredient in soda causes the effect.More likely is the consuming sweet sodas changes dietary patters or that soda is simply a marker for the poor eating habits of the participants.
” The part about diet soda is more intriguing,” Dr. Vasan said. He said people who drink soda,whether diet or sugar-sweetened, tend to have similar dietary patterns.
“On avarage, soda drinkers tend to eat more calories, consume more saturated fat and trans frat, eat less fiber, exercise less, and be more sedentary.”Dr. Vasan said.
The researchers adjusted for those factors and still observed a significant link between soft drink consumption and the risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
Dr.Vasan said there are several theories about how diet sodas could increase a person’s metabolic risk. “One possibility is that diet soda is sweet. Maybe drinking something sweet conditions you in such a way that you develop a preference for sweet things.” he said.
“Also diet soda is a liquid. When you take liquids at a meal, they don’t satiate you as much as solids” he said.
Dr. Meir Stamfer of Harvard Medical School, who was not involved in the study, said the findings were not unexpected, although he added , “I’m surised by the magnitude of the association.”
Dr. Stampfer previously had reported that diet sodas increases the risk of obesity and high blood pressure.
Soda makers, however, rejected the study outright.
Susan K. Neely, President and chief executive of the American Beverage Association, said that “the assertions defy the existing body of scientific evidence. as well as common sense… it is scienticically impossible to suggest that diet soft drinks- a beverage that 99 % water – cause weight gain or elevated blood pressure.”
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of symptoms that includes excessive abdominal fat, high blood -glucose levels, high blood pressure, high blood triglyceride, and low levels of high density lipoprotein, the “good” cholesterol.
People with three or more of these symptoms have double the normal risk of heart disease and diabetes.
In the study, sponsored by the National heart , Lung and Blood Institute, Dr. Vasan and his colegues studed more than 2,400 middle aged ,white redidents of Framingham, Mass.
At the begining of the study , those who had consumed more than one soda per day –either regular or diet — had 48% higher risk of having metabolic syndrome.
The team then focused on the more than 1,600 people who did not have metabolic syndrome at the start of the study and following them for at least four years.Those who drink at least one soda per day had a 44% higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome during the four years of study.
Those who drank at least one soda per day also had:
* a 31% greater risk of becoming obese;
*a 30% higher risk of having large waist line;
* a 25% higher risk of developing high blood triglycerides or high blood sugar.
* a 32% greater risk of low levels of good cholesterol;
* a trend towards an increase risk of high blood pressure.
The percentages were were the same whether a subject drank regular or diet soda.
The authors tried to control for all those factors in the diet. but ” even after all that, we still found an increased risk , Dr. Vasan said. “May be it is very difficult to adjust for lifestyle.”
Source: The Blade(Toledo, Ohio)