A new study involving 120,000 people shows that sugar in sodas increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and therefore dying prematurely.
Sodas, industrial iced teas, syrups … Are sugary drinks a public health problem? This shows a study published March 18 in the scientific journal Circulation, which concludes that they cause an additional risk of premature death. The authors of the study followed nearly 120,000 Americans for 30 years. The biggest drinkers (more than two cans a day) have an increased 21% chance of dying earlier than people who do not drink sugary drinks at all.
Such a link had already been highlighted by a study published in 2015. This new work provides important additional information: the greater the consumption of sugary drinks, the greater the risk of dying prematurely (+ 1% for less than 1%). one soda per week, + 6% for less than one soda a day, + 14% for one or two sodas a day, and + 21% for more than 2 sodas a day).
The study shows that these deaths are mainly due to cardiovascular diseases (heart attack, stroke, etc.), with a 31% increase in the risk of developing one for those who consume at least two cans per day. And each extra can is sanctioned with an increased risk of 10%! The researchers took into account a multitude of factors, such as smoking and diet. But according to them, this increase in mortality risk is attributable to sugared beverages alone.
Why you have to be careful
What happens when you drink a soda?
The sugar contained in sodas acts on our body in various ways. First, too high a glucose (a sugar form) in the blood damages the inner walls of the arteries, making them more fragile and more sensitive to cholesterol build-up. The latter penetrates and promotes the formation of atheroma plaques that will gradually clog the arteries, eventually causing infarction or stroke. When this excess of sugar in the blood becomes frequent, the whole metabolism is disrupted, with weight gain, hypertension or type 2 diabetes. All these factors increase the risk of have cardiovascular disease.
Sodas, worse than cakes?
Why are sweetened drinks more incriminated than other foods? “Soft drinks, fruit juice with added sugars or iced teas are the first source of pure sugar in our diet,” says Guillaume Walther, a specialist in cardiovascular disease at the University of Avignon. “In these drinks, there is no dietary fiber, but it is they that slow down the rate of absorption of sugar in the blood. It is therefore absorbed immediately, which increases blood glucose in a larger amount than a cake containing the same amount of sugar. ”
Once in our blood, sugar begins its destructive work. This is what Guillaume Walther and his team discovered in a study published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology in 2017. “Our arteries have an innate capacity to adapt their diameter as needed. in the blood of our organs, but a can of soda is enough to temporarily disrupt this ability of dilation, “explains the researcher. “Even in young people and in good health, we observe this dysfunction”. Clearly, a sugar overdose, even punctual, puts our arteries in difficulty.