We all know that sugary soda is a major contributor to obesity– a typical 20-ounce drink can have up to 18 teaspoons of sugar and more than 240 calories. What we didn’t know is that regular soda consumption might also destroy your DNA.
The study, undertaken by researchers at the University of California San Francisco and recently published in the American Journal of Public Health, examined 5,309 US adults aged between 20 and 65. The team looked closely at telomeres, which are the protective DNA caps on the end of chromosomes in cells that protect your genetic data, and discovered a link between the ingestion of sugary soda and the shortening of telomeres in white blood cells.
Short telomeres limits cell regeneration and have been linked to a range of chronic infirmities such as heart disease, diabetes, and various types of cancer.
In fact, by analyzing single samples of the participants’ telomeres, the researchers estimated that drinking a 20-ounce (oz.) soda every day would translate to an extra 4.6 years of aging. That’s similar to the effects caused by smoking. The finding was consistent regardless of age, race, income or education level.
How’d they get there? It might be because sugary sodas cause a rapid influx of liquid calories into your blood stream, which can raise your insulin levels. This spike can increase oxidative stress, insulin resistance, and inflammation—all things known to influence telomere shortening, says study author Cindy Leung, Sc.D.
But when the researchers lumped all sugar-sweetened drinks together—sodas and noncarbonated beverages like fruit drinks or energy drinks—they didn’t find any significant association with shortened telomeres. It’s only when they teased out the fizzy stuff that the link emerged.
However, the previous studies have shown no difference in how your body responds to sodas and non-bubbly beverages, says Leung. The researchers think that the sugar consumption might only affect your telomeres once it reaches a certain level. Back when the study data was collected 15 years ago, people only consumed an average of 4 oz. of noncarbonated sugary drinks a day, compared to 12 oz. for sugary soda.
“We think if we were to repeat the study again now, we would find a similar association with non-carbonated sugary beverages,” says Leung.
So what should you do if you are addicted to drinking sugary soda?
Invest in a SodaXpress machine!! Not only can you enjoy your favorite drinks, it is healthier and cheaper in long term. SodaXpress allows you to control and regulate your sugar intake according to your preference. Plus, the water carbonated with SodaXpress does not contain any chemical preservatives that might cause you harm, it is just plain water with added CO2.
With a simple 3-step; click the bottle, press to fizz and release the pressure. You can enjoy carbonated drinks anywhere, anytime.