Recent research led by professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health adds to the growing evidence that sugary drinks are detrimental to cardiovascular health. Men who drank a 12-ounce sugar-sweetened beverage every day had a 20% higher risk of heart disease than men who didn’t consume any sugar-sweetened drinks.
Researchers studied 42,883 men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up study and found that the result persisted even after controlling for other risk factors, including smoking, physical inactivity, alcohol use and family history of heart disease. Less frequent consumption (twice weekly and twice monthly) didn’t increase risk.
Researchers also measured blood lipids and blood proteins, including the inflammation marker C-reactive protein (CPR), triglycerides and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). These serve as biomarkers for heart disease. Compared with nondrinkers, men who consumed a sugary beverage each day had higher triglyceride and CRP levels and lower levels of HDL cholesterol. Artificially sweetened beverages were not linked to higher risk or increased biomarkers for heart disease in this study.
*Source: IDEA Health & Fitness Association