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Type 2 Diabetes, Weight Gain & Soft Drinks & Fruit Drinks

Posted Oct 02 2008 3:12pm

Although Jennifer already told you about this new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, a sister publication of JAMA, I thought it worthwhile to offer a different take on this important new research.

Given that I need to sleep and rest a lot to recover from Lyme disease, I'm re-posting an item that can be found on my friend, nutritionist Jonny Bowden's blog. Here are his thoughts about the study:

"This [new] study examined the association between type 2 diabetes, weight gain and- get this -- the consumption of soft drinks and fruit drinks. They looked at over 43,000 women over the course of ten years, during which almost 3,000 of the women developed Type ll diabetes.

The findings were disturbing.

The women who drank two or more soft drinks per day had a 24% increase in their risk for diabetes. So far, not too shocking. But here's the kicker: The women who drank two or more fruit drinks per day had a 31% increase in their risk (grapefruit juice and orange juice were not statistically associated with the risk).

This is important. We've been brainwashed into thinking these crummy "fruit drinks" are healthier than sodas, when-- as any reader of this newsletter knows-- they're not.

"Consumption of fruit drinks conveyed as high an increase in risk as did consumption of soft drinks", the researchers wrote. The higher the consumption of soda, fruit juices, fortified fruit drinks and Kool-Aid, the higher the risk.

"The public should be made aware that these drinks are not a healthy alternative to soft drinks with regard to risk of Type ll diabetes", the authors wrote.

In a related study, researchers from Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge analyzed blood vitamin C levels and fruit and vegetable intake in over 21,000 people who didn't have diabetes at the beginning of the study. Over 12 years, 735 participants developed diabetes. But the odds of developing diabetes was-- get this- a whopping 62% lower for those who had the highest levels of vitamin C in their system.

Fruits and vegetables are a great source of vitamin C, and in my opinion, it never hurts to take a vitamin C supplement as well.

It's worth pointing out that homemade juice from combinations of vegetables and fruits have an awful lot of potential benefits, especially if they're not too high in sugar. (I'm pretty sure that the study that found increased risk for diabetes from fruit drinks wasn't talking about the kind of juice you make at home with your Vita-Mix.) It's also worth pointing out that an apple is a very different "animal" from a pasteurized apple juice "drink" that is marketed as a healthy alternative to soda. (It's not.)

Thanks to Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S. for permission to usehis fascinating post. I also invite you to check out Jonny's fascinating books, including his latest, The Healthiest Meals on Earth.

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