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Fructose increases cholesterol levels, glucose decreases them. (link: soda pop; source: LPI meeting 2009; added 6/2009)

January 22, 2008- New York Times -

It is well known that too much soda can increase the risk of diabetes and obesity. But when it comes to kidney problems, is there a difference between colas and other kinds of soda? Colas contain high levels of phosphoric acid, which has been linked to kidney stones and other renal problems. Much of this conclusion stems from anecdotal and circumstantial evidence. So last year, a team of scientists at the National Institutes of Health took a closer look. In a study published in the journal Epidemiology, the team compared the dietary habits of 465 people with chronic kidney disease and 467 healthy people. After controlling for various factors, the team found that drinking two or more colas a day — whether artificially sweetened or regular — was linked to a twofold risk of chronic kidney disease. But drinking two or more noncola carbonated drinks a day, they found, did not increase the risk. The authors of the study say more research is needed, but their findings support the long-held notion that something about cola — the phosphoric acid, for example, or the ability of cola to pull calcium from bones — seems to increase the risk of kidney stones, renal failure and other conditions affecting the kidneys.

THE BOTTOM LINE- There is good evidence that cola beverages can increase the risk of kidney problems, more so than noncola sodas.

January 2008 - Diet soda consumption linked to metabolic syndrome - "Dietary Intake and the Development of the Metabolic Syndrome" - [What is metabolic syndrome?] " [a Western dietary pattern] meat, fried foods, and diet soda also were adversely associated with incident MetSyn, whereas dairy consumption (Ptrend=0.006) was beneficial." In a study of nearly 10,000 people age 45-65, a very high correlation was found between drinking diet soda and developing metabolic syndrome, even after adjusting other factors like exercise and energy intake.

Consumption of high-fructose corn syrup in beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity George A Bray et al Am. J. Clinical Nutrition,  Apr 2004;  79:  537 - 543.

The consumption of HFCS increased > 1000% between 1970 and 1990, far exceeding the changes in intake of any other food or food group. HFCS now represents > 40% of caloric sweeteners added to foods and beverages and is the sole caloric sweetener in soft drinks in the United States. Our most conservative estimate of the consumption of HFCS indicates a daily average of 132 kcal for all Americans aged  2 y, and the top 20% of consumers of caloric sweeteners ingest 316 kcal from HFCS/d. The increased use of HFCS in the United States mirrors the rapid increase in obesity. The digestion, absorption, and metabolism of fructose differ from those of glucose. Hepatic metabolism of fructose favors de novo lipogenesis. In addition, unlike glucose, fructose does not stimulate insulin secretion or enhance leptin production. Because insulin and leptin act as key afferent signals in the regulation of food intake and body weight, this suggests that dietary fructose may contribute to increased energy intake and weight gain.

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