The Disturbing Side Effect of Drinking ONE Soda a Day

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The reasons to give up soda just keep mounting: cancer, cavities, and even water pollution, etc… Now you can add accelerated cellular aging to that list, according to research published in the American Journal of Public Health.

HOW DOES SODA AGE YOU?

Looking at DNA samples of 5,309 participants, the researchers found that drinking soda was related to shorter telomere length in white blood cells. The researchers estimated that drinking 20 ounces of soda daily made you 4.6 years older.

WHAT’S A TELOMERE? AND WHY SHOULD I CARE?

Telomeres are protective caps at the ends of chromosomes. Just as plastic tips keep your shoelaces from unraveling, telomeres keep your DNA from beginning to fray during cell division. Previous research has shown that as telomeres get shorter (generally from age-related damage), your cells stop dividing. Cell division is what keeps us youthful and keeps our organs functioning properly.

Essentially, cellular aging due to telomere shortening is at the root of many health issues, such as inflammation, insulin resistance, and oxidative damage to tissue. The researchers point out that telomere length has even been connected to lifespan.

HOW MANY PEOPLE IN THE US ARE SHORTENING THEIR LIVES BY 4.6 YEARS?

So how many people–here in the US–are shortening their lives by 4.6 years by downing soda every day? According to the researchers, the answer is 45 percent of Americans.

It’s time to quit!