(NaturalNews) Researchers publishing the results of a study in the prestigious American Heart Association journal Circulation have found that men who drank a 12-ounce sugar-sweetened beverage a day had a 20 percent higher risk of heart disease compared to men who didn't drink any sugar-sweetened drinks. This should come as no surprise as sweetened (and calorie-free) beverages have come under scrutiny for contributing to increased risk of potentially fatal conditions such as diabetes, dementia, stroke, liver necrosis (fatty liver) and obesity.
Excess glucose in the bloodstream is easily converted to triglycerides by the liver and promptly stored as fat, typically around the waistline for use during leaner times. This survival mechanism worked very well for our ancestors of several hundred generations past, but times of plenty now exist regularly, several times each day for most.
Humans were never metabolically wired to consume the large amount of nutrient-poor calories as we do today, and it is leading to an early grave for millions. The bottom line is simple: eliminate calories from sugar-sweetened beverages and lower your risk of heart disease by one-fifth.
Researchers reviewed the beverage consuming habits of 42,883 men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, and after controlling for risk factors including smoking, physical inactivity, alcohol use and family history of heart disease, they determined that daily consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages resulted in a20 percent increase in cardiovascular disease. Scientists found that less frequent consumption, on the order of twice weekly to twice monthly did not increase risk.
Lead study author, Dr. Frank Hu and his team from the Harvard School of Public Health measured blood markers for cardiovascular disease in the group such as C-reactive protein (CRP), potentially damaging blood fats including triglycerides and oxidized LDL cholesterol as well as good lipids known as high-density lipoproteins (HDL). They found that compared to a group of non-sweetened beverage drinkers, the test participants had significantly elevated levels of triglycerides, CRP and lower HDL levels.
These findings are to be expected with excess consumption of glucose. Excess sugar in the blood, when not required for energy to fuel metabolic processes is rapidly converted to free circulating blood fats and then stored as body fat. High levels of LDL cholesterol become oxidized (making the lipoprotein molecules sticky) where they are easily combined with calcium and other materials in the blood and are incorporated into atherosclerotic plaque. Most health-minded people will eliminate sugar-sweetened beverages entirely from their diet, as well as dramatically reduce all sources of quick-releasing refined carbohydrates to dramatically lower their risk of heart disease.
About the author: John Phillip is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your copy of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan'.