We all know the bad effects that sugary drinks can have. Increased risk of tooth decay, and weight gain often top the list of reasons why theses beverages should be avoided. A recent study from the University of California reveals that sugary drinks can also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease – even if they have been consumed for as little as two weeks. The study showed that drinks with low, medium or high amounts of high-fructose corn syrup have a tremendous effect on the risk factors for cardiovascular disease, even when consumed by young, healthy men and women.
As the first study to reveal a direct correlation between the amount of sugar added, and consumed in beverages, compared to the risk factors for cardiovascular disease – 85 (men and women) ranging from 18 to 40 years of age participated in the study. Individuals were placed into four groups, and each group was given beverages with high-fructose corn syrup equivalent to 0 percent, 10 percent, 17.5 percent or 25 percent of their total daily calorie requirements, over a 15 day period. The ‘0 percent’ group was provided with a sugar-free drink, that contained the artificial sweetener aspartame.
The research team drew blood hourly during the study to monitor any changes in the levels of triglycerides, lipoproteins, and uric acid; all factors regarding risks of cardiovascular disease. The indicators increased, as the amount of high-fructose corn syrup did. Even those in the ’10 percent’ group showed higher concentrations of lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride when they were compared to their blood results at the start of the study.
Interestingly enough, the research team also noticed that a majority of the increases in lipid/lipoprotein indicators for cardiovascular disease were higher in the male participants than their female counterparts.
Kimber Stanhope, the study’s lead author stated that the research findings emphasized a higher need to conduct further research on sugary drinks, by using controlled dietary tactics, with a focus on what the appropriate levels for added sugary drinks are. The research study is set to be published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, June print edition.