The consumption of sugary soft drinks are often discouraged by the doctors and health experts, thanks to its association with high risk of developing many diseases like obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular death, metabolic syndrome, certain types of cancer and several others. And now a new study has found that its high consumption can even shorten our lifespan.
The study was conducted by the researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
According to the researchers, the new study showed that frequent use of drinking soda can shorten the length of telomeres, which is present within White Blood Cells (WBCs). The telomeres can be used as a predictor for human lifespan.
“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,” Dr. Elissa Epel, senior study author and a professor of psychiatry at UCSF, said a released statement.
For the study, the research group collected data of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys between the periods 1999 and 2002. The researchers involved 5,309 American adults aged 20 to 65 years having no history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
The researchers asked all the participants to recall their diet in the past 24 hours and then used their DNA samples to measure their telomere length.
It was found that the participants, on average, consumed 12 ounces of soda and around 21 percent of the participants reported drinking at least 20 ounces of soda each day.
UCSF researchers concluded that drinking of 20 ounces of soda a day was associated with additional biological aging of 4.6 years.
The research group made this conclusion following analysis of the way in which telomere length shortened with chronological age of all the participant.
The health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the consumption of sugary drinks among both adults and children has rose dramatically over the past 30 years. Moreover, the CDC report shows the figures of sugary drinks consumption coincides with obesity epidemic in the US.
Around half of the American population over the age of two is reported to have been drinking a sugary drink on any given day.