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Stroke risk may be increased by soda consumption

New Delhi, Sat, 21 Apr 2012 NI Wire

Large Intake of sugar added and low-calorie sodas may result in increased risk of stroke, says a study.

Contrary to it, intake of caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee was linked to a lower risk, says the researchers from Cleveland Clinic's Wellness Institute and Harvard University who recently conducted a study.

The study is one of a kind as it examines effect of soda in terms of stroke risk.

Former research has shown that sugar-sweetened beverage consumption is associated to weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gout and coronary artery disease.

"Soda remains the largest source of added sugar in the diet," Adam Bernstein, M.D., Sc.D., study author and Research Director at Cleveland Clinic's Wellness Institute has been quoted as saying.

"What we're beginning to understand is that regular intake of these beverages sets off a chain reaction in the body that can potentially lead to many diseases - including stroke," he explained.

The study did an analysis of soda consumption among 43,371 men who took part in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study between 1986 and 2008, and 84,085 women who took part in the Nurses' Health Study between 1980 and 2008.

In this period, 2,938 strokes were registered in women while in the men this number was 1,416.

In case of sodas sweetened with sugar, the sugar load may lead to fast increases in blood glucose and insulin, which eventually lead to glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, and inflammation.

These physiological changes affect atherosclerosis, plaque stability and thrombosis - all these can make one susceptible to risk factors of ischemic stroke. This susceptibility to stroke is more in women than in men.

On the other hand, coffee has ingredients like chlorogenic acids, lignans and magnesium, all of which works like antioxidants and may lower the risk of stroke. When comparison was made with one serving of sugar-sweetened soda and one serving of decaffeinated coffee it was found that coffee had 10 percent less risk of stroke.

Besides, study findings also exhibit that men and women who took more than one serving of sugar-sweetened soda everyday showed higher rates of high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol and lower physical activity rates.

Those who consumed soda more often were also more susceptible to eat red meat and whole-fat dairy products. Men and women with low-calorie soda intake had a higher incidence of chronic disease and a higher body mass index (BMI).

During their research, the investigators controlled these other factors in their analysis to find out the independent association of soda consumption on stroke risk.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has recently published the study.

--with inputs ANI

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