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Consuming Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Daily May Increase Risk of Dyslipidemia

Dyslipidemia is the condition of having an abnormal amount of triglycerides, cholesterol, and/or fat phospholipids. Dyslipidemia may increase the risk of premature atherosclerosis, peripheral artery disease, or stroke. According to a new study, consuming 12 ounces or more per day of sugar-sweetened beverages may increase the risk of dyslipidemia by increasing triglyceride levels and lowering HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

For their study, the researchers used observational medical data from the Offspring and Generation 3 cohorts of the Framingham Heart Study. The data they used included 5,924 participants who were followed for an average of 12.5 years. Fasting blood samples were taken to measure HDL cholesterol, triglyceride, and total cholesterol levels. LDL cholesterol levels were calculated according to the Friedewald equation.

The researchers used food frequency questionnaires to estimate beverage intakes. Sugar-sweetened beverages were defined as 12 ounces of sodas, fruit-flavored drinks, sports drinks, pre-sweetened coffee and tea, 12 ounces of low-calories sweetened beverages, or 8 ounces of 100% fruit juices. Participants were placed into groups based on the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages they consumed daily. Consumption ranged from low intake (less than 1 serving per month) to high intake (more than one serving per day).

The researchers found that participants in the high intake sugar-sweetened beverage group had a 53% higher incidence of high triglyceride levels compared to participants in the low intake sugar-sweetened beverage group. Participants in the high intake sugar-sweetened beverage group also had a 98% higher incidence of low HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

No association was found between adverse changes in cholesterol and triglyceride levels and consuming low-calorie sweetened beverages or fruit juice on a regular basis.

The study was conducted by researchers from Tufts University. It was published on February 26, 2020 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

 

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