Cutting down on soda may save the heart. Sugar sweetened beverages have been blamed for many of the excess pounds American carry around. A new study suggests they may also raise blood pressure. A study of more than 800 adults lasted a year and a half. When it began, average soda consumption was just about one serving a day. The volunteers in the study were offered advice on healthy lifestyles, and those who reduced their sweet beverage consumption also lowered their blood pressure. Drinking one less soda pop or glass of juice drink daily corresponded to a drop of almost two points in systolic blood pressure, the upper number in the reading, and of about a point in diastolic blood pressure. The investigators controlled for caffeine consumption and weight loss and concluded that reduced sugar consumption had an independent blood pressure benefit.
[Circulation, online May 24, 2010]