Soda linked to increased risk of kidney disease
Even if you’re not watching your weight by avoiding sugary soft drinks, new research suggests that you may putting yourself at an increased risk for kidney disease.
According to a recent study from Japan, drinking two or more sugary sodas a day increases the risk of excess protein in the urine, or proteinuria. Proteinuria is a sign of chronic kidney disease, indicating that the kidneys aren’t properly filtering protein into the body’s bloodstream.
The study was lead by Dr. Ryohei Yamamoto of the Osaka University School of Medicine. The researchers studied nearly 8,000 Osaka University employees with normal kidney function over a five-year period. According to the results, those who drank two or more sodas a day had a 1.28 percent increased rate of proteinuria.
According to the results, nearly 11 percent of the employees who reported drinking two or more sodas a day developed proteinuria, while 8.4 percent who didn’t drink soft drinks and nearly 9 percent who said they drank one per day showed the condition.
In a related study by researchers at Case Western Reserve University, rats fed a moderate amount of the sugar fructose showed increased kidney sensitivity to a protein that regulates the body’s salt balance. The researchers concluded this leads to increased re-absorption of salt by the kidneys, explaining why sugary sodas have been linked to several severe health conditions, including diabetes, obesity and even kidney failure.
“We tell all our patients that drinking regular soda leads to diabetes and obesity,” says Dr. Vinita Bhagia, endocrinologist at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. “The specifics of the findings of these studies are new, though. We didn’t have information directly linking sugary sodas to kidney disease.”
Dr. Bhagia says one can of regular soda may contain up to seven teaspoons of sugar.
“By contrast, the American Heart Association recommends no more than five teaspoons of sugar a day for adult women and nine teaspoons for adult men,” she says. “When you think of it that way, it puts it in a different perspective.”
She encourages all her patients to choose diet options, if they must drink soda. Though she says another interesting study would be on the effects of diet soft drinks on kidney function.
“I would highly encourage anyone to stop drinking sugary sodas regularly,” Dr. Bhagia says. “Water is always a better choice for your overall health.”
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.