For many Americans, drinking sugary soda (or cola, “coke” or “pop,” depending where you live) is a habit simply too difficult to kick.
That’s even with the prominent dangers that come along with it like obesity, liver damage, increased risk of diabetes, increased risk of heart disease, insulin resistance and dental damage. Not to mention soft drinks’ lack of nutrients and their addictive nature.
However, millions of devoted soda drinkers may finally find the motivation they need to help them quit.
That is, if they heed the findings from a recent study from the University of California at San Francisco.
These researchers found that habitual soda drinking may shorten your lifespan by an average of five years.
Specifically, this study discovered a change in people’s telomeres — the protective units of DNA that cap the ends of chromosomes in cells.
Telomeres were shorter in the white blood cells of survey participants who reported drinking more soda.
That might not sound like a big deal, but consider this …
Telomere health is one of the most-prominent factors is predicting how long you will live and the quality of life you’ll experience.
Here’s what these experts wrote about how our bodies react to sugary drinks like sodas …
“Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened sodas might influence disease development, not only by straining the body’s metabolic control of sugars, but also through accelerated cellular aging of tissues,” said Elissa Epel, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry at UCSF and senior author of the study.
“This is the first demonstration that soda is associated with telomere shortness,” Epel said. “This finding held regardless of age, race, income and education level. Telomere shortening starts long before disease onset. Further, although we only studied adults here, it is possible that soda consumption is associated with telomere shortening in children, as well.”
Based on the way telomere length shortens on average with chronological age, the UCSF researchers came up with a shocking calculation …
They estimate that daily consumption of a 20-ounce soda is equivalent to an average of 4.6 years of telomere shortening.
The researchers of the study even said that drinking soda has equally detrimental effects on telomeres as smoking cigarettes.
A 20-ounce bottle of soda is less than two cans of any popular soft drink, an amount far too many people surpass daily.
If the evidence against eliminating or at least cutting back on soda wasn’t already enough, this is sure to increase awareness even more.
We would love to know from Uncommon Wisdom Daily readers your experience with limiting or eliminating soda from your diet, how you achieved it, and the effects this lifestyle change has made.
Please let us know by leaving a comment in the comments section below.
Happy and Healthy Investing,