New research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), indicate that; after factors such as obesity were taken into account, those with the highest intake of SSBs (sugar-sweetened beverages) had an 11 percent increased risk of dying from any cause for every extra 12oz (350 ml) of sugar-sweetened drink consumed, and a 24 percent increased risk for every extra 12oz (350 ml) of fruit juice consumed.
The results suggest higher consumption of sugary beverages, including fruit juice, is associated with increased mortality.
‘While 100 percent fruit juices contain some vitamins and phytonutrients that are missing from most SSBs, the predominant ingredients in both are sugar and water.
Although the sugar in SSBs is added during processing and the sugar in 100 percent fruit juice occurs naturally, the specific sugars they provide for the body to process are essentially the same, and the biochemical response when metabolized is the same.
The authors suggested a few possible reasons for the increased risk of dying from consumption of sugary drinks.
Obesity is obviously the main factor, they said, but once that is taken into account, research suggests that sugary drinks increase insulin resistance.
Other factors may be that consuming fructose alters blood lipid levels, markers of inflammation and blood pressure, while high glucose consumption has been associated with insulin resistance and diabetes.
‘This is a very important study, especially as fruit juices are often seen as a ‘healthy’ alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages, even though they often contain much more sugar (especially smoothies).
‘Fruit juices can provide vitamins and even some fiber, but there is little health benefit beyond this: the amount of phytochemical found in juices is too low to have any further beneficial effect, and there is no beneficial health effect from so-called antioxidants.
‘If the association is shown to be causal (which we don’t know yet), this would have a number of implications: first of all, it would suggest that it does not matter whether sugary drinks are lemonades or fruit juices.
‘This is important, as fruit juices and smoothies are not commonly perceived as sugary drinks. Secondly, it would suggest purported health benefits of fruit juices are not sufficient to counteract their sugar content.
‘Fruit juices are a poor replacement for actual fruit consumption, in particular as they can be much more easily over-consumed.
‘Indeed, a 150ml glass of orange juice is made from about two oranges – but it takes much longer to eat two oranges than to drink the juice.
‘In the UK, the general recommendation is that a 150ml glass of fruit juice can provide one of the five-a-day, but not more.
Neither is 100% juice, but taste as if they were, but the sweetness comes from our natural sweetener, JustSweet® which in the amounts you find in our fruit drinks will not affect the blood sugar level, or the blood pressure.
There are indications that daily consumption of our fruit beverages (with stevia and prebiotic fiber) can lower blood sugar over time (after 4-6 weeks) and stevia appears to lower blood pressure.
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