Sugary soft drinks linked to
high blood pressure
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By Michelle Roberts: Drinking too
many sugary beverages appears to raise the risk of high blood pressure, experts
Findings suggest blood pressure goes up incrementally for every extra can of
sugary drink consumed per day.
Drinking more than 355ml a day of sugar-sweetened fruit juice or carbonated
drink can be enough to upset the balance, data on over 2,500 people reveals.
The study by UK and US researchers appears in the journal Hypertension.
The precise mechanism behind the link is unclear, but scientists believe too
much sugar in the blood disrupts blood vessel tone and salt levels in the body.
Non-sugar sweetened diet drinks did not carry the same risk.
On four separate occasions the participants aged 40-59 from the UK and the US
were asked to record what they had eaten in the preceding 24 hours and give a
urine sample as well as have their blood pressure measured.
The researchers found that sugar intake was highest in those consuming more than
one sugar-sweetened beverage daily.
They also found that individuals consuming more than one serving per day of
sugar-sweetened beverages consumed more calories than those who didn't consume
sugary drinks - around 397 extra calories a day.
For every extra can of sugary drink consumed per day, participants on average
had a higher systolic blood pressure by 1.6mmHg and a higher diastolic blood
pressure by 0.8mmHg.
Overall, the people who consumed a lot of sugar-sweetened beverages appeared to
also have less healthy diets and were more likely to be overweight.
But regardless of this, the link with blood pressure was still significant even
after adjusting for factors such as weight and height.
Professor Paul Elliott, senior author of the study, from the School of Public
Health at Imperial College London, said: "It's widely known that if you have too
much salt in your diet, you're more likely to develop high blood pressure.
"The results of this study suggest that people should be careful about how much
sugar they consume as well."
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
( Courtesy: Michelle Roberts,
Health reporter, BBC News http://www.bbc.co.uk/