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Soft Drinks and Sugar Negatively Affect Kidney Health

Update Date: Nov 09, 2013 10:50 AM EST
Soft Drinks
Researchers found that drinking at least two soft drinks a day could lead to kidney dysfunction. (Photo : Flickr)

Based on several studies, researchers have found that the consumption of soft drinks and sugar contribute greatly to obesity, which could then lead to several health complications, such as high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. In two new studies to be presented this week, researchers reported that a diet including soft drinks and soda contributes negatively to kidney health.

In the first study, the research team was headed by Ryohei Yamamoto, MD, Ph.D. from the Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan. The researchers looked at three groups of university employees who all had normal kidney function and collected data on their daily intake levels for soft drinks and sugar. In the first group of 3,579 people, 301 of them or 8.4 percent developed proteinuria, which is an indicator of renal dysfunction. In the second group of 3,055 people, 272 of them, 8.9 percent, developed proteinuria. The last group was made up of 1, 342 people and 144 (10.7 percent) of them had kidney dysfunction. The average median follow-up was 2.9 years. The research team concluded that people who drank at least two soft drinks per day had a higher change of developing proteinuria.

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In the other study, the research team was headed by Agustin Gonzalez-Vicente from the Case Western Reserve University. Gonzalez-Vicente and colleagues used rat models to examine the effects of fructose consumption on kidney function. The researchers found that rats that were given fructose had kidneys that were sensitive to angiotensin II, which is a protein that regulates salt. The kidneys ended up reabsorbing more salt, which researchers believe is partly responsible for the development of health conditions, such as kidney failure, hypertension, obesity and diabetes.

Both studies stress the importance of maintaining a healthy diet. The studies will be presented at the American Society of Nephrology Kidney Week 2013, which takes place from Nov. 5 to Nov. 10 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA.

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