Soda can cause heart failure, says a new study. Just two cans daily of the sugary, bubbly beverage boosted the risk of heart failure by 23 percent in new research that has heartbreaking news for soda lovers, reported CNN.
To conduct the study, researchers examined the diets of 42,000 men for more than 12 years. That research resulted in the warning about soda. The heart failure risk specifically was linked to those men who consumed two or more sweetened drinks daily, according to the study.
“The takeaway message is that people who regularly consume sweetened beverages should consider limiting their consumption to reduce their risk of heart failure,” cautioned co-author Dr. Susanna Larsson of the Stockholm Karolinska Institutet. “[The beverages in the study] included soft drinks/soda and these can either be sweetened with sugar or with artificial sweetener.”
Published in the British Medical Journal, the soda heart failure study specifically focused on both diet soda and soda sweetened with sugar. Beverages did not include juice, coffee, or tea.
The co-author of the soda heart failure study recommends more research since her investigation looked only at Swedish men ranging in age from 45 to 79. Hence, sugar-sweetened soda and diet drinks may have different levels of risk for younger or older people, women, or other groups.
Heart failure occurs when the heart lacks the strength to get enough oxygen and blood to the body. An estimated six million individuals have the condition in the U.S.
“It’s a very miserable life,” emphasized Dr. Roberto Bolli, chief of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. “Patients with heart failure are severely limited in their ability to perform daily tasks, they get short of breath for even small efforts like walking one block, or sometimes even walking inside their house.”
Symptoms can include shortness of breath, leg swelling, and chest pain. Within five years after the initial diagnosis, under 50 percent of individuals are still alive. After 10 years, under 25 percent still are living.
But why hammer down on sodas and diet drinks? The soda and heart failure study was conducted after earlier research found that drinking large amounts of beverages with sugar boosted the increase for obesity, diabetes, hypertension, high blood sugar, and other heart failure risk factors, reported Reuters.
Hence, explained study leader Susanna Larsson, the new study was designed to provide confirmation that a link does exist between soda and heart failure. Each one of the men included in the new research project were evaluated for nearly 12 years. The human guinea pigs were questioned regarding the number of soft drinks or juices that were sweetened they gulped down daily or weekly.
During the research project, 3,600 reports of heart failure emerged, and the study specifically associated a boost of almost 25 percent higher heart failure with the men who drank several sodas or diet drinks, revealed the study.
“The take-home message is that people who regularly drink sweetened beverages should consider reducing their consumption,” said Larsson.
Although soda was linked to heart failure in men in the study, that doesn’t mean that women should feel free to swig down the soda, cautioned the researcher.
“Sweetened beverage consumption has been associated with blood pressure, insulin concentration, weight gain, obesity and type 2 diabetes also in women,” added Larsson.
On an international look at heart failure, over 23 million people suffer from the condition. The soda heart failure study researchers link the increase in those numbers to drinking beverages that are sweetened such as sodas.
In the most recent study, about one in seven men confessed that they drank two or more sodas or juices that were sweetened daily. The researchers also revealed that those same men usually ate fewer vegetables, drank three or more cups of coffee, and had a lower likelihood of a university education.
While issues such as overall diet and exercise also could affect the risk of heart failure, the new research shows more evidence against sweetened drinks, warned Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez and Miguel Ruiz-Canela of the University of Navarra in Spain.
“Sweetened beverages lead to weight gain and obesity and this leads to diabetes and heart failure,” added Martinez-Gonzalez. “The take home message is to drink water instead of sweetened beverages.”
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