The message to stop smoking issued by public health officials has been nothing less than paramount, repetitive and consistent in the last several decades. What about soft drinks? Daily consumption of just a half-liter of soda is linked with 4.6 years of additional biological aging, effects comparable to that of smoking, finds a new study.
The study found that drinking soft drinks is associated with cell aging, suggesting sugar-sweetened soda consumption might promote disease independently from its role in obesity.
The study revealed that telomeres — the protective units of DNA that cap the ends of chromosomes in cells — were shorter in the white blood cells of survey participants who reported drinking more soda. The findings were reported in the American Journal of Public Health
The length of telomeres within white blood cells — where it can most easily be measured — has previously been associated with human lifespan. Short telomeres also have been associated with the development of chronic diseases of aging, including heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer.
“Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened sodas might influence disease development, not only by straining the body’s metabolic control of sugars, but also through accelerated cellular aging of tissues,” said senior study author Elissa Epel, professor of psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
“This is the first demonstration that soda is associated with telomere shortness,” Epel said. “This finding held regardless of age, race, income and education level. Telomere shortening starts long before disease onset. Further, although we only studied adults here, it is possible that soda consumption is associated with telomere shortening in children, as well.”
For the rest of the story: http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/10/22/10-resaons-stop-drinking-soft-drinks/