Sodium and artificial sweeteners linked to decline in kidney function
Posted Nov 18 2009 10:00pm
Two studies presented at the American Society for Nephrology’s annual meeting earlier this month are beginning to build data on the links between diet and kidney disease. The researchers used data from the Nurses’ Health Study to correlate intake of sodium and sweetened beverages with kidney function in 3,000 women over an 11-year period.
In the first study, the authors found that higher dietary sodium intake was associated with a greater decline in kidney function over that 11-year time frame. Excessive sodium intake is already well-known to promote hypertension and consequently heart disease, and now we have one more reason to avoid it.
In the second study, women who drank two or more servings per day of artificially sweetened soda doubled their odds of kidney function decline.
Sure, we save a few calories drinking a diet soda, but does that really help us? Scientific studies have linked artificial sweeteners and/or diet soda to weight gain, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
As a society, we disregard these possible dangers to the detriment of our health. We have grown accustomed to the intense saltiness of restaurant meals and processed foods, and the intense artificial sweetness of aspartame, acesulfame K, and sucralose. By cutting these harmful substances out of our diets, we can begin to enjoy the more subtle flavors of natural whole foods, and benefit our kidneys in the process.