Every client we see is unique. Each has their own health history and challenges and life situation; their own needs, values, desires, and priorities.

Still, there are some things they have in common.

One thing we see in a lot of patients who have complex, chronic diseases is a tendency to drink a lot of sugary soft drinks – not just soda but energy drinks, sport drinks, sweet teas, and such.

soft drink aisle Of course these drinks spell trouble for teeth. Their acidity destroys tooth enamel, as do the acids generated by the microbes that feast on sugar. But the drinks are murder for the liver and kidneys and overall health, too – as new research in the journal Circulation reminds.

Its authors crunched data from nearly 120,000 participants in two large, ongoing health surveys. They wanted to examine the association between soft drink consumption – both sugared and artificially sweetened – and death.

What they found was that the more sugary drinks consumed, the greater the risk of early death, particularly from cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Compared with infrequent SSB [sugar-sweetened beverage] drinkers, those who drank two or more servings per day of SSBs had a 31% higher risk of early death from CVD. Each additional serving per day of SSBs was linked with a 10% increased higher risk of CVD-related death.

Among both men and women, there was a modest link between SSB consumption and early death risk from cancer.

While the risk of early death was a bit lower for those who drank diet beverages, high intake – four or more servings per day – signaled a higher risk of overall and cardiovascular death in women.

Another recent study looked at cardiovascular health, early death, and diet soft drink consumption. Its authors found that women who drank at least two diet beverages a day were 31% more likely to have an ischemic stroke.

The researchers found that high consumption of the diet beverages also came with an increase in other health risks, including a 29 percent greater chance of developing heart disease and a 16 percent increased likelihood of premature death. In addition, for black women and obese women, the chance of having an ischemic stroke more than doubled if they were high-level consumers of diet drinks.

Do you really need more reason to ditch the stuff?

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