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Originally published November 3 2014

Drinking soda rapidly accelerates aging and leads to early death

by Julie Wilson staff writer

(NaturalNews) Soda, pop, soda pop, coke, whatever you might call it depending on which part of the country you're from, this sugary drink is still by far one of the worst things that you can put into your body, and the research continues to substantiate this claim.

Published in the American Journal of Public Health, this latest study regarding the horrors of soft drinks comes from the University of California, San Francisco, with results disturbing enough to deter anyone from taking another sip of the syrupy, sugar-sweetened beverages.

Attempting to identify whether or not soda speeds up the body's aging process, researchers observed and assessed over 5,300 healthy adults who drank sugar-sweetened beverages, diet soda and fruit juice over a five-year period.

The participants, ages 20 to 65 years old, had no history of diabetes or cardiovascular disease according to the 1999 to 2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, scientists say.

Sugary beverages discovered to be even more incredibly unhealthy and dangerous than previously thought, scientists admit

In order to test for a link between sugary drinks and cell aging, researchers compared the participants' beverage consumption with leukocyte telomere length, or the ends of chromosomes. The shorter the telomere, the less a cell can regenerate, indicating accelerated aging and an increased risk of disease and early death, reports CBS San Francisco.

The findings revealed that the more of a certain type of sugary drink the participants consumed, the shorter their telomeres turned out to be.

"This finding is alarming because it suggest[s] that soda may be aging us, in ways we are not even aware of," said one of the study's lead authors, Dr. Elissa Epel, who dedicated five years to the experiment.

The diets of the volunteers were reportedly assessed using 24-hour dietary recalls, while associations were made using multivariate linear regression to document chromosome length. An estimated 21 percent of survey respondents admitted to drinking 20 ounces of soda per day, which by scientist's calculations sheds about four and a half years off their lives.

After making adjustments for sociodemographic and health-related characteristics, researchers concluded with 95 percent confidence that sugar-sweetened soda was linked to shorter telomeres in this particular study.

Scientists were unable to draw "significant" connections between consumption of diet sodas and noncarbonated sugar-sweetened beverages with telomere length, according to reports. However, consumption of 100 percent fruit juice was "marginally" associated with slightly longer telomeres.

100 percent fruit drinks could be beneficial to human health, while carbonated sugary sodas are likely detrimental to long-term health

The authors admit that they can't definitively say drinking sugary soda is the cause of shortened telomeres; however, previous studies have proven that drinks containing sugar do appear to accelerate the aging of cells, reports Guardian Liberty Voice.

Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened sodas might influence metabolic disease and development through accelerated cell aging, concludes the researcher's report, indicating that other factors may have contributed to telomere shortening and the onset of disease.

"We think we can get away with drinking lots of soda as long as we are not gaining weight, but this suggests that there is an invisible pathway that leads to accelerated aging, regardless of weight," said Dr. Epel.

An estimated 50 percent of Americans are still drinking sugary beverages daily, while approximately one out of four Americans say they consume at least 200 calories from soda alone, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.

Professor Epel plans to perform another study that will track volunteer's sugary drink habits in "real-time" before comparing the results to cell aging.


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