(NaturalNews) Regular soda consumption significantly increases women's risk of gout, according to a study conducted by researchers from Boston University and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Gout is a painful type of inflammatory arthritis that has become increasingly common in the past few decades, rising in prevalence from 16 cases per 100,000 people in 1977 to 42 cases per 100,000 in 1996. The same time period saw a large increase in soda consumption, the researchers noted.
The researchers studied 78,906 women who had taken part in the Nurses' Health Study between 1984 and 2006 and who had no history of gout at the beginning of the study. They found that over the course of 22 years, women who consumed one serving of soda per day were 74 percent more likely to develop gout than those who had less than one per month. Women who drank two or more servings of soda per day were 240 percent more likely.
A connection between soda consumption and gout is not surprising because fructose, a component of sugar, causes the body to produce more uric acid. Uric acid buildup is the immediate cause of gout.
Sugary beverages are widely reviled by nutritionists as a source of empty calories that raises the risk of obesity and diabetes.
"Data collected from the study of 51,603 nurses in the United States found that women who drank one serving of non-diet soda or fruit punch daily, which was sweetened with either sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, gained more weight, an average of 10.3 pounds, than women who drank less than one per month," writes Gabriel Cousens in his book There Is a Cure for Diabetes.
"In addition, the sugar consumers had an 82 percent increased risk of developing Type-2 diabetes."