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Cutting Intake of Sugary Drinks In Half May Significantly Reduce Blood Pressure

Drinking just one less sugary beverage a day may help lower blood pressure according to findings published in the May 2010 issue of the journal Circulation.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Louisiana State University Health Science Center.

The researchers recruited 810 participants between 25-79 years of age. All of the participants had borderline high blood pressure readings of 120/80 to 139/89.

At the beginning of the study the average daily consumption of sugary beverages was 10.5 ounces (around 1 serving.) By the end of the 18 month study the average daily consumption of sugary beverages among the participants was half as much.

When the researchers measured blood pressure at the end of the study they observed a significant 8.2 millimeter drop in systolic blood pressure (top number) and a 5.6 millimeter drop in diastolic pressure (bottom number).

The researchers noted that weight loss due to the cut in sugary drinks was part of the reason for the drop in blood pressure. However, even when they controlled for weight loss there was still a strong association between decreased sugary drink intake and reductions in blood pressure.

The current average daily intake of sugary beverages among Americans is 2.3 servings (28 ounces). Too much sugar not only leads to weight gain, it is a key factor in the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

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