Soft drinks could damage heart health

1 March 2011

New research has shown that a person's blood pressure can be adversely affected by the consumption of sugar-sweetened, fizzy soft drinks.

According to a collaborative US and UK study, drinking just more than a can of such soft drinks each day can cause a blood pressure imbalance that - over time - could lead to heart health issues and other long-term cardiovascular problems.

Published in the journal Hypertension, the study looked at the effects sugar-sweetened and artificially-sweetened soft drinks had on those aged between 40 and 59.

They found that for every additional sugary soft drink participants consumed their systolic blood pressure rose by 1.6mmHg.

However, the researchers said that the actual mechanism for blood pressure increase was unclear as those who consumed more soft drinks were more likely to have a less healthy diet.

Professor Paul Elliot said that while high salt intake is a known causal factor in patients with raised blood pressure, the new research shows that people should be wary of consuming too much sugar as well.

1 Elliot, Professor Paul. "Sugar-Sweetened Beverage, Sugar Intake of Individuals, and Their Blood Pressure". Hypertension. Monday, February 28th 2011.

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