(CNN)Drinking twoor more sweetened drinks per day could greatly increase your risk of diabetes, according to new research.
In fact, it could double it.
The underlying biology behind this increase in risk is not fully understood, but Lfvenborg has some theories, including that the increased calorie intake from these drinks increase the likelihood of obesity, which is a risk factor for diabetes.
But in terms of developing autoimmunity to cause LADA, she thinks this might be because sweetened drinks cause a spike in sugar levels, and therefore, insulin levels to control it. Excessive spikes might then stress and “wear out the cells” that produce insulin, she said.
Another hypothesis is that these spikes make people less sensitive to insulin over time.
“There’s probably more than one mechanism behind this,” she said.
Other key factors involved
“A most interesting finding was that the higher risk was the same for both sweetened and artificially sweetened beverages, suggesting that greater risk of diabetes was not directly related to higher calorie intake, or adverse metabolic effects of sugar (in the form of sucrose) from the sweetened drinks,” Christine Williams, professor of human nutrition at the University of Reading in the UK, said in a statement. She was not involved in the research.
“The study suffers from the same limitations as apply to most association studies. Even after controlling for effects of many other possible factors, including poor diet and heavier body weight, it is not possible to conclude that sweetened beverages are the direct cause of the relationship they have shown.”
Williams added a further caveat for the people diagnosed with diabetes. “The well-known problem of under reporting (subjects self-reporting lower intakes of foods they know to be less healthy) is known to be more common in overweight and obese individuals. The diabetic subjects in this study were heavier than the control subjects.”
Dr. Elizabeth Robertson, director of research at Diabetes UK, agreed with these limitations. “Participants who drank more sweetened drinks also led unhealthier lifestyles in general, meaning a number of other factors like diet and exercise may have affected the results.”
“More research is needed to determine the relationship between sweetened drinks and the risk of developing LADA and Type 2 diabetes,” she said.
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