Food and Behaviour Research

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16 October 2014 - The Guardian - Sugary soft drinks may be linked to accelerated DNA ageing – study

Azeen Ghorayshi

Research finds that people who reported drinking 350ml of fizzy drink per day had DNA changes typical of cells 4.6 years older.

Consumption of sugary soda drinks such as cola and lemonade may be linked to accelerated DNA ageing, say researchers who have studied the impact of the drinks in more than 5,000 people.

High-sugar fizzy drinks have been under fire from campaigners for contributing to obesity and type-2 diabetes, but this is the first study to suggest a link with ageing. The researchers found that people who reported drinking a 350ml bottle of fizzy drink per day had DNA changes typical of cells 4.6 years older.

“Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened sodas might influence disease development, not only by straining the body’s metabolic control of sugars but also through accelerated cellular ageing of tissues,” said Prof Elissa Epel, of the University of California, San Francisco.