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High Blood Pressure? Drop the Sugar

Posted by bmagnus On May - 26 - 2010

It might seem logical that caffeine might raise your blood pressure. After all, it is a stimulant. New research shows that when it comes to soda caffeine may be the least of your problems!

Researchers at Louisiana State University Health Science Center School of Public Health looked at over 800 people with high blood pressure or borderline high blood pressure. On average they drank 10.5 oz of sugar sweetened beverages daily — soda, lemonade, fruit drinks, etc. containing either added sugar or corn syrup. At the end of the study, participants’ consumption of these beverages had dropped by roughly half, and their blood pressure dropped too. In fact, their blood pressure dropped more than could be accounted for by the fact that they lost weight!

They also found there was no association between changes in blood pressure and caffeine consumption.

Since the typical American drinks 28 oz of sugar sweetened beverages daily, the potential for lowering blood pressure by just changing what we drink is obvious. Researchers concluded “Reduced consumption of SSB [sugar sweetened beverages] and sugars was significantly associated with reduced BP [blood pressure]. Reducing SSB and sugar consumption may be an important dietary strategy to lower BP.”

Her Take: Some media coverage of this research is certainly going to focus on soda. And while soda is a major source of “liquid sugar,” this study specifically included fruit drinks and lemonade. While they don’t overtly mention some of the trendy, sugary, possibly whipped cream topped coffee drinks out there, it stands to reason that they fall under the blanket of “sugar sweetened beverages.” Bottom line with me and researchers both is that added sugar is not good for you.

2 Responses to “High Blood Pressure? Drop the Sugar”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bridget Magnus, Warren Magnus. Warren Magnus said: New post at Age Against the Machine: High Blood Pressure? Drop the Sugar http://bit.ly/ajsIcy […]

  2. Jim Schmidt says:

    So, if I understand the review of the report, cutting two drinks worth of sugar out of your diet can reduce blood pressure by… one to two points? Every little bit helps, I suppose 🙂