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Fruit Juice Increases Diabetes Risk, Study Shows

A new study from researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health has shown that fruit juice may not be the wonderful alternative to soft drinks that many marketers would have you believe.

The study is published in the July 2008 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine and found that drinking sugary fruit drinks were associated with higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than drinking sugar sweetened soft drinks.

Researchers analyzed the results of a follow up study of 43,960 African American women which has been in progress since 1995. During the six year study period 2,713 women developed type 2 diabetes.

After adjusting for lifestyle and health variables, researchers found that drinking two or more soft drinks per day was associated with a 24% increase in risk of developing type 2 diabetes while drinking two or more sugar sweetened juices was associated with a 31% risk.

These results seem to differ from the assortment of marketing and advertising messages that position fruit juices as a healthier alternative to soda. The study adds to a growing body of science that both confirm soft drinks are bad for you but also indicate sugary fruit juices may be even worse.

Some experts say that the increase in diabetes risk shown in both studies is the result of a greater number of calories and simple sugars in many fruit juices.

For a truly healthy alternative to both soft drinks and sugary fruit juices try a naturally sweetened juice. A few safe natural sweeteners include stevia root, luo hun guo fruit and bitter mellon extract.

Source: Sugar-sweetened beverages and incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus in African American women.
Arch Intern Med. 2008 Jul 28;168(14):1487-92.
PMID: 18663160 [PubMed - in process]
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