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A must read for soft drink guzzlers: A study has found that daily consumption of half-a-litre of sugared soda is linked with 4.6 years of additional biological aging, quite faster than smoking. .
The researchers have found that drinking sugary drinks is associated with cell aging, and sugar-sweetened soda consumption might promote disease independently from its role in obesity.
The study revealed that telomeres – the protective units of DNA that cap the ends of chromosomes in cells – were shorter in the white blood cells of people who reported drinking more soda.
A senior study author Elissa Epel, professor of psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), said 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,
He said, this has been the first demonstration that soda is associated with telomere shortness.
The effect on telomere length is comparable to the effect of smoking, or to the effect of regular exercise in the opposite, anti-aging direction.
Short telomeres have been responsible with the development of chronic diseases of aging, including heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer.
The researchers arrived at the conclusion after obtaining stored DNA from 5,309 participants, ages 20 to 65, with no history of diabetes or cardiovascular disease, who had participated in a health survey during the years 1999 through 2002.