Consuming sugary drinks (also) puts you at risk of atrial fibrillation

Consuming sugary drinks (also) puts you at risk of atrial fibrillation

Consuming sugary or artificially sweetened drinks may be associated with an increased risk of irregular heartbeat, a new study announces. Another reason to reduce your consumption, if it is usual.

Until now, numerous studies have established a link between the consumption of sugary drinks and obesity, type 2 diabetes or even poor kidney function. But according to a new study carried out on a British cohort of more than 200,000 people, people who regularly consume these beverages are at greater risk of atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart rhythm which increases the risk of stroke fivefold.

Artificial sugars, but very real risks?

The analysis therefore focused on the dietary and genetic data of more than 200,000 adults without atrial fibrillation at the time of their registration in the Biobank. And on the habits of those who developed this atrial fibrillation over the following decade. It was noted that among the 9,362 people who did indeed develop the condition, the risk increased alongside the consumption of sugary drinks.

With several salient points:

  • This risk of irregular heart rhythm was 20% higher among people reporting drinking two liters or more per week of artificially sweetened beverages;
  • This risk was 10% higher among people reporting drinking similar amounts of sugary drinks;
  • It was reduced by 8% among people who drank one liter or less of pure juice per week, such as 100% orange or vegetable juice.

Low sugar content is not a guarantee of a healthy product

Like any observational study, this one gives us a crude observation, but is not able to confirm whether sugary drinks “cause” atrial fibrillation. However, the association persists after taking into account the genetic susceptibility of the person. to this disease, thus proving a strong link.

Our study results cannot definitively conclude that one beverage poses more health risks than another due to the complexity of our diets and the fact that some people may drink more than one type of beverage. “said the study’s lead author, Ning Jian Wang,

“However, based on these findings, we recommend that people reduce or even avoid artificially sweetened and sugary drinks as much as possible. Do not assume that drinking artificially sweetened beverages low in sugar and calories is healthy, as this may pose potential health risks.”

Favor natural products

So should we fear the slightest can of soda? We contacted Dr. Arnaud Cocaul, nutritionist, to get his opinion on the study. According to him, the latter, like any observation, is not perfect, and may contain biases:

“This study suggests a statistical link between drinks with sweeteners and atrial fibrillation, but it does not say, for example, whether the people who drink the most drinks of this type are those who also consume large quantities of other products. On the other hand, if the link is not precisely established, it is interesting to note it in order to go further in this direction and see, for example, the most sensitive family areas to arrive at recommendations” he mentions.

As for the difference between the risk of atrial fibrillation in soda drinkers and fruit juice drinkers, the doctor is clear:

These results further discredit sweetened drinks which are not as harmless as they wanted us to believe. Anything natural turns out better than anything artificial, drinks included. This is yet another argument to promote a simple instruction: for your health, it is better to eat as raw and natural as possible and stay away as much as possible. processed productsconcludes our expert.