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This is not just soda: Drinking too much fruit juice (or sweet drink) associated with the premature risk of death

In particular, drinking excessive amounts of fruit juice can lead to an increased risk of premature death in the range of 9% to 42%, according to a study published Friday in JAMA Network Open.

Generally, sugars contained in orange juice, although naturally occurring, are quite similar to sugars added to soda and other sweetened beverages, the study found.

"Sugar beverages, whether soft drinks or fruit juices, should be limited," writes Jean A. Welsch, co-author of the study and assistant professor at the Department of Pediatrics at Emiri University in Atlanta.

Seven American cities, including New York and, most recently, Philadelphia, have imposed taxes on sweetened beverages with added sugar to reduce consumption. These laws often emphasize how soda and other sweet drinks contribute to the epidemic of obesity among children and the high percentage of diabetes among adults.

It is definitely the new study "sweet drinks" such as sugary sugar, as well as soda and fruit drinks, and 100% natural fruit juices with no added sugar. So how does the fruit juice accumulate against the soda?

"Previous studies have shown that high consumption of sugars, such as those in soft drinks and fruit juices, is associated with several risk factors for cardiovascular disease," Welsh explained. Obesity, diabetes and elevated triglycerides (a type of fat found in the blood) are among the risk factors associated with excessive sugar intake. "Few studies have been able to understand how this consumption can affect the risk of mortality," she said.

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To address this problem, she and her colleagues redirected data from the causes of geographic and racial differences in stroke research that seek to understand why more African-Americans are dying of strokes than other races, and why people in the Southeast have more blows than those in other areas of the United States.

Taking this multi-ethnic study, Welsh and her co-authors analyzed data from 13,440 adults 45 years and over, almost 60% men and almost 71% of them overweight or obese.

People who consume 10% or more of their daily calories as sweet drinks have a 44% greater risk of death due to coronary heart disease and a 14% greater risk of early death for whatever reason than people who consume less than 5% of their daily calories as sweet drinks, according to the study.

Each additional portion of 12 ounces of fruit per day is associated with a 24% higher risk of death for any reason, and each additional 12 ounce for sweet drinks a day is associated with an 11% higher risk. A similar relationship between sweet drinks and death due to coronary heart disease has not been found.

"Considering the results of sugar-sweetened beverages and juices, we must be aware that the risk presented is higher than that of the lowest consumers of each," Welsh explained.

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She was not surprised by the findings. She and her co-authors said that "a number of possible biological mechanisms" explain the increased risk of death. For example, studies show that sweet drinks increase insulin resistance, which is known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, whereas fructose consumption can stimulate hormones that stimulate weight gain around the waist – another risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Recommended quantities of fruit juice

This is one of the first studies to study the relationship between sweet drinks, including 100% fruit juices and early death, says Marta Guash-Fere, Harvard T. Ch. Chan School of Public Health and Dr. Frank B. Hu, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, in an editorial article published with the new study.

The study, however, is limited to what he can tell us, notes Guash-Feare and Hu, who have not participated in the study. Since there are so few deaths associated with coronary heart disease, the analysis here is considered weak; more time and a larger number of participants would probably give a stronger signal in one way or another. Also, the consumption of sugar for each participant was recorded only at the beginning of the study, based entirely on self-reporting, which is not considered reliable.

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"Although fruit juices may not be as harmful as sugar-sweetened beverages, their consumption should be moderate in children and adults, especially for people who want to control their body weight," Guash-Fere and Hu said.

Recommendations for children between the ages of 1 and 6 should limit the consumption of fruit juice to 6 ounces per day, while children aged 7 years and older, teenagers and adults should restrict fruit juice to 8 ounces per day, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

"Further research is needed to investigate the health risks and potential benefits of specific fruit juices, Guash-Ferre and Hu said.

Wells said that we need to consider both fruit juices and sugar-sweetened drinks when we think about how much sugar we consume each day. Between her she tilts the scales in favor of fruit juice: "Considering the content of vitamins and minerals, fruit juice in small quantities can have a beneficial effect not seen in soda and other sugary beverages."

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