Sugar — Kidney and Heart Killer

iStock_000018329907XSmallSome researchers now suggest that the added sugar in our diets is the single most dangerous threat to kidney and heart health. It’s apparently the “fructose” component of sugar that is particularly threatening, particularly given the huge quantities Americans consume in sweetened beverages and processed foods.┬áThe USDA estimates that each American slams down 63 pounds of fructose each year, and 70% of it comes from sweetened drinks. A cola is about 65% fructose.

Fructose is the sugar in fruit, but is not dangerous in fruit because its release into the blood stream is slowed by the fiber in fruit. Thus, fruit with its nutrients is a good food choice. It’s when the fiber is stripped from foods that fructose can overwhelm the blood and liver, resulting in disease. And stripping that fiber is just what food manufacturers do.

They have concocted a concentrated form of fructose, hugh fructose corn syrup, that has a long shelf life and is in almost every processed food item you buy. Our consumption of the stuff has risen 2000% over the past decade. This rise parallels the rise in diabetes, obesity, kidney disease, etc.

iStock_000002010634XSmallSeveral prior studies highlighted the bad effects of sugar and soft drinks on kidney health. Two new studies say the same. In one study, drinking even one soft drink a day raised the likelihood of kidney decline and proteinuria. In the other recent study, fructose consumption impacted the kidney’s ability to balance salt, increasing blood pressure risk.

Prior studies have linked colas to elevated uric acid and creatinine levels. One study found that two glasses of cola a day doubled risk of kidney disease. Even artificially sweetened drinks increased kidney disease risk.

A new study just out today in JAMA Internal Medicine links added sugars to increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease. People consuming the most added sugar had double the risk of death from heart disease.

Kidney patients know that heart disease is their great threat. Kidney disease is damaging to the cardiovascular system. So, studies like this are important. We can avoid added sugars, thereby protecting our hearts and kidneys.



This entry was posted in Blog, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Eating for Kidneys, Food and Kidney Function, High Blood Pressure, Kidney Disease, Obesity, Sugar and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Sugar — Kidney and Heart Killer

  1. River says:

    “Even artificially sweetened drinks increased kidney disease risk.”

    What study did that come from? I’d like to share it with my husband, who I think drinks too many diet pops.

  2. Vicki says:

    River, one recent such study is: Swithers SE. “Artificial sweeteners produce the counterintuitive effect of inducing metabolic derangements.” Trends Endicrinol Metab. 2013 Sept;24(9):431-41. You can go to a site called “Pub Med” to read the study or just Google it. Also, we discuss the problem in our newest book Smoothies For Kidneys. Thank you for visiting our site. Good luck with your husband. Mine drinks too much beer.