Saturday January 18, 2020

Sugar-sweetened Beverages May Worsen MS Symptoms: Study

Additional studies are needed to evaluate whether sugar-sweetened beverages affect the course of the disease, the study noted

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Image Credits : Pexels

People with multiple sclerosis (MS) consuming 290 calories of soda or other sugar-sweetened beverages a day may be tied to more severe symptoms, researchers warn.

Multiple sclerosis is a progressive and degenerative disease in which the immune system attacks nerves, producing a variety of neurological symptoms.

The study showed that participants who consumed the largest amounts of sugar-sweetened beverages were five times more likely to have severe disability than people who seldom drank sugar-sweetened beverages and consume an average of seven calories of such drinks per day.

“MS patients often want to know how diet and specific foods can affect the progression of their disease,” said Elisa Meier-Gerdingh from St. Josef Hospital in Germany.

The researchers considered 135 people with MS who completed the questionnaire about their diet.

Soda, sugar-sweetened beverages may worsen MS symptoms.

The team chose to study the DASH diet as it is associated with lower risk of other chronic diseases, like high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, said Meier-Gerdingh.

The diet recommends whole grains, fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, poultry and fish, and nuts and legumes and limits foods that are high in saturated fat and sugar.

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The study, presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 71st Annual Meeting in the US, showed that overall no link was found between what participants ate and their level of disability. In addition, a total of 30 participants had severe disability.

Additional studies are needed to evaluate whether sugar-sweetened beverages affect the course of the disease, the study noted. (IANS)

  • We agree that Americans should be mindful of the sugar they consume, that’s why we will continue to support American’s efforts to cut back on sugar and calories by offering more products with less sugar or zero sugar, smaller portion sizes and place calorie labels on the front of all of our products. However, the study’s authors note that their “results do not show that soda and sugar-sweetened beverages cause more severe disability.”

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  • We agree that Americans should be mindful of the sugar they consume, that’s why we will continue to support American’s efforts to cut back on sugar and calories by offering more products with less sugar or zero sugar, smaller portion sizes and place calorie labels on the front of all of our products. However, the study’s authors note that their “results do not show that soda and sugar-sweetened beverages cause more severe disability.”

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Here’s how Artificial Sweeteners Contribute to Type 2 Diabetes

Artificial sweeteners may be contributing to type 2 diabetes

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Type 2 diabetes
Researchers warn that consuming artificial sweeteners may increase risks of developing type 2 diabetes. Pixabay

A $2.2 billion industry to help people lose weight through artificial sweeteners may be contributing to type 2 diabetes, researchers have warned.

The study, published in the journal Current Atherosclerosis Reports, also found that people who use low-calorie sweeteners (LCS) are more likely to gain weight, the exact opposite of what consumers expect.

This is despite controlled clinical trials showing that artificial sweeteners do lead to weight loss, the research added.

“There has been a 200 per cent increase in LCS usage among children and a 54 per cent increase among adults in the past 20 years,” said study researcher Peter Clifton from the University of South Australia.

Low calorie sweeteners are used in place of sucrose, glucose and fructose.

They have an intense sweet flavour without the calories, but recent studies have highlighted potential adverse health effects.

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Sweeteners have adverse health effects and can contribute to type 2 diabetes. Pixabay

According to the researchers, a US study of 5158 adults over a seven-year period found that those who consumed large quantities of artificial sweeteners gained more weight than non-users.

“Consumers of artificial sweeteners do not reduce their overall intake of sugar. They use both sugar and low-calorie sweeteners and may psychologically feel they can indulge in their favourite foods,” Clifton said.

“Artificial sweeteners also change the gut bacteria which may lead to weight gain and risk of type 2 diabetes,” he added.

Artificially sweetened beverages (ASB) are also linked with increased risks of death and cardiovascular disease, and strokes and dementia among older people, but it is not clear why.

Study researcher Clifton cites 13 studies which investigated the effects of ASB intake on the risk of type 2 diabetes, all of which found either no link or a positive one.

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One study found that substituting ASB for sugar-sweetened beverages or fruit juices was associated with a five to seven per cent lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

“A better option than low-calorie sweeteners is to stick to a healthy diet, which includes plenty of whole grains, dairy, seafood, legumes, vegetables and fruits and plain water,” Clifton said. (IANS)