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Monday, 24 October 2016
Regardless of whether you drink ‘regular’ or ‘diet’, drinking a little more than a can of soft drinks a day (400ml) doubles your risk of diabetes! More ominously, adults who consumed 3 cans (or two small bottles of 500ml each) of soft drinks daily were found to be at 3.5 times greater risk of LADA and 10.5 times greater risk of type 2 diabetes, regardless of whether the drinks were sugary or artificially sweetened.
The European Journal of Endocrinology has just published a study by Josefin Edwall Löfvenborg, and colleagues of the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, of an analysis of more than 2,800 adults, showing that the consumption of at least two 200-millilitre of sugary or artificially sweetened soft drinks a day was linked to a doubling the risk of Type II diabetes as well as a form of Type II diabetes known as latent autoimmune diabetes of adults (LADA).
It is estimated that around 9-10% of the population in the Western world have diabetes, many of whom have yet to be diagnosed.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the condition, accounting for around 90-95 percent of all cases. This arises when cells in the body are unable to effectively use the hormone insulin - known as - insulin resistance - causing blood sugar levels to rise. Type 1 diabetes accounts for around 5-10 percent of diabetes cases. It is considered an autoimmune disease, where the immune system mistakenly attacks insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, leading to little or no insulin production.
LADA is a subtype of type 1 diabetes. It is a slow-progressing condition that typically develops later in adulthood, normally between the ages of 30-50 years. LADA is sometimes referred to as "type 1.5" diabetes, as it shares some characteristics of type 1 and type 2; it is believed to be an autoimmune disease like type 1, but it also incorporates insulin resistance like type 2.
Soft drinks and diabetes risk
Research has already demonstrated a link between high consumption of sugary drinks and type 2 diabetes; in the past this effect has primarily been attributed to the weight gain associated with high sugary drink intake.
In this latest study, Löfvenborg and team set out to investigate whether artificially sweetened soft drinks might have the same effect, and whether soft drink intake - both sugary and artificially sweetened - might affect the development of LADA. The study included 2,874 Swedish adults, of whom 1,136 had type 2 diabetes, 357 had LADA, and 1,137 were healthy controls.
The team analysed the self-reported dietary data of each adult, looking specifically at the number of soft drinks consumed up to 1 year before a diabetes diagnosis. Participants' insulin resistance levels, beta cell function, and autoimmune response were also measured.
Why artificially sweetened drinks may also raise diabetes risk?
While the link between the increased risk of developing diabetes and consumption of sugary drinks is well established, researchers say there are a number of possible explanations as to why this link may also exist with artificially sweetened drinks as well.
Among the reasons given one major explanation is that artificial sweeteners may negatively affect the balance of 'good' and 'bad' species of microbes in the gut, which could lead to glucose intolerance, thus diabetes.
Our advice is, give up on soft drinks or at least minimise your intake to well below a can a day and instead, reach for your Acidophilus supplements.
Source: European Journal of Endocrinology October 2016