How Sugary Drinks Increase the Risk of Heart Disease

By | August 18, 2015

Link Between Sugary Drinks and Heart Disease

Studies have proven that sugary drinks, such as soda, increase the risk for heart disease. A recent report by the University of California at Davis found that the faulty ingredient was not sugar, however, but the high fructose corn syrup added to the drinks. While fructose is not pure cane sugar, it is a type of sugar, which is important in understanding the link between sugar and heart disease.

The study found that all beverages with added high fructose corn syrup increase a person’s risk for heart disease. Three types of beverages were tested; low, medium, and high levels of high fructose corn syrup. The test subjects were young, healthy males and females, and the test duration was for only two weeks. Both groups of individuals, who drank various levels of the sugary drinks, were found to be at higher risk for heart disease than the control group, even after the short two week study.

You should still avoid heavy amounts of sugar

Researchers went on to say, even though the study only included high fructose corn syrup, that any type of sugary substance was harmful to humans when consumed on a regular basis. Participants drank varying levels of sugary drinks, and each person showed an increased risk for cardiovascular dangers.

Daily blood draws were conducted over the 15 day study, where four groups of men and women drank various amounts of sugary substances. The blood draws measured lipoproteins, triglycerides, and uric acid, which are known cardiovascular disease risks.

As doses of high fructose corn syrup rose, so did the levels of these factors in the blood. That means that group one, who had no added sugar, saw no rise, while group four, who had the most added sugar, had the most rise. However, all three groups, low sugar, medium sugar and high sugar, all saw a rise in these risk factors for heart disease.

High fructose corn syrup risks

Basically, any amount of high fructose corn syrup will increase a person’s risk of heart disease. The study demonstrated, however, that men have it worse than women. The men in the studies had higher levels of lipoproteins during testing. The rise in risk factors in the blood was independent from body weight; smaller people did not show differences in risk factors in the blood than larger people.

The heads of the study determined that further research is necessary to find out exactly how much danger there is in high fructose corn syrup, but this initial study proved that the risk is real. People who consume high levels of sugar in a regular diet are more at risk for cardiovascular disease than those who limit their sugar intake. Specifically, high fructose corn syrup, such as that found in sodas, further increases the chance of heart disease over other sugars.


There are other factors to heart disease, such as genetics and other habits, so if those factors apply to you, try to cut back on sugary drinks. This study proves definitively that soda is harmful to our health, so switching to natural fruit juices as soon as possible is a good move for your future.

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