Soda is a destructive force when it comes to good health. It can lead to cancer, cavities, and poorer environmental health, too. But there’s more: it can also make you older than you really are, claims research found in the American Journal of Public Health.
Researchers realized that sipping soda was found in connection with “shorter telomere length in white blood cells,” which is the scientific way of saying that consuming just 20 ounces of soda each day can make you look 4.6 years older than your Birth Certificate would indicate.
According to Lauren Kessler, who wrote the book Counterclockwise, as telomeres shrink (typically because of age-related damage), your cells cease division. But when cell division is the exact thing that keeps us youthful and our organs working normally, that’s the last thing we want!
Furthermore, cellular aging caused by telomere shortening is the primary cause for many health issues, ranging from oxidative damage to insulin resistance. In fact, the researchers offer, individual telomere length has been linked with life duration.
“Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened sodas might influence disease development” because it both strains your body’s “metabolic control” of sugars, and also causes quickened cellular aging in tissues, warned Elissa Epel, PhD, professor of psychiatry at University of California–San Francisco, who also helped author the study.
Also, the link seen between telomere length and sugar was separate from other sugar-related health problems such as obesity and diabetes; actually, sugar problems and aging are interconnected, Kessler admitted. One of the most harrowing age-related problems linked with sugar, she continues, is lowered blood sugar tolerance, which serves as your system’s “ability to use glucose in the bloodstream.”
As someone who stopped sippin’ the sweet stuff long ago, I can’t help but think about how much better off I’d be if I’d stopped even sooner– but that shouldn’t be focused on, because there’s nothing I can do about it now. Speaking of the “now,” though, I’m in the best shape of my life– and ceasing soda consumption has absolutely had something to do with it! My favorite soda used to be Mountain Dew, but I’m at the point in my detox that I hardly even remember what it tastes like anymore. In fact, the other day I had a cup of ginger ale, and I was overwhelmed by the carbonation; my mouth wasn’t used to all those bubbles anymore. Make the switch, and those sugary syrups will be a thing of the past.
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