Study finds sugary drinks may increase blood pressure

Monday, February 28th, 2011 By

cola

A study has linked consumption of sugary drinks, such as colas and fruit juices, to higher blood pressure. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

A recently published study has found a possible link between sugary drinks and an increase in blood pressure. The study found that patients who consumed large amounts of sugared beverages such as fruit juice and soft drinks had higher blood pressure. However, the study doesn’t rule out other dietary factors playing a part.

One sugary drink per day can increase blood pressure

A study conducted by English researchers has found that any sugary drink can boost a person’s systolic blood pressure from 0.8 to 1.6 points, according to ABC. Blood pressure is a ratio of the highest pressure recorded in blood vessels to lowest blood pressure, or systolic to diastolic. Higher blood pressure or hypertension, can lead to heart problems, which makes sugary drinks that much more of a worry in that systolic is the high reading of pressure. The study is being published in the medical journal Hypertension and was carried out by Dr. Ian J. Brown of the Imperial College London, in coordination with other colleagues.

Objections

In the study, patients kept records of what they ate and drank, and those patients who regularly consumed sugar-heavy beverages such as soda and fruit juices were found to have higher blood pressure than those who did not. However, Dr. Brown and his colleagues did not assert that the data indicated there was a clear link between sugary drinks and blood pressure. Dr. Brown admitted, according to WebMD, that the correlation was only observed, and a causal link couldn’t be established. A spokesperson for the American Beverage Association, a trade group for soft drink companies, said that the study was “seriously flawed,” and the changes in blood pressure were “inconsequential.” The authors noted as much in the study.

Cut back on the soda

The study found that people who drank even one soda per day took in 400 more calories per day than others, though this doesn’t mean anyone who drinks soda has higher blood pressure. However, drinks that are sweetened with sugars are one of the biggest contributors of empty calories in the American diet, and even artificial sweeteners such as Splenda are known to pose health risks.

Sources

ABC

WebMD

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