A new study has found that as few as three cans of soda each day can have deadly effects. The news, released from the University of Utah on August 13, told of a study that was published in the journal Nature Communications, and the study was astounding. In mice, the addition of as little as 25 percent more sugar added to the diet caused reduced reproduction and lifespan.
The sugar added was the equivalent of a healthy diet for humans, plus three extra cans of soda. It caused female mice to die at two times their usual rate, and the males were about 25 percent less likely to reproduce. The team of researchers that were involved in the study used an OSA test. They said that the results offer evidence that added sugar, consumed at levels that are currently considered safe, puts significant negative effects on the health of mammals.
The senior author of the study, Wayne Potts, biology professor with University of Utah has also said that the study shows the negative effects of additional sugar at levels that are relevant to humans. He has personally reduced his intake of refined sugar and has encouraged his family to do so, as well.
Potts says that the University of Utah’s toxicity test put mice groups in large corrals, known as “mouse barns” that contain a number of nest boxes. The setup offered an environment that was more realistic than the smaller cages. They also gave the mice more of an opportunity to behave as they would naturally, and provide clues to the toxicity of sugar on daily lives.
He has said that study was necessary and that the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation funded it to help in both pharmaceutical science, where almost 73 percent of medications that pass preclinical trials develop safety concerns that cause them to fail, as well as for toxicology, where there are surprisingly few compounds that receive long term or critical testing for toxicity.
For the study, the diet that was used added 25 percent of calories that came for sugar. The researchers had no concern about the amount of calories that the mice actually consumed. Potts said that the National Research Council recommends that humans consume less than 25 percent of their calories from the loosely defined “added sugar.” He, however, has been quick to point out that representatives from the National Research Council don’t consider the sugars that are found naturally in bananas, apples and other types of whole foods. The amount of sugar used for the study is actually consumed by an estimated 13 to 25 percent of people in America.
So, why did they choose mice? It turns out that they are one of the best mammals to simulate human dietary problems because they have been eating the same foods as people since the revolution of agriculture – about 10,000 years or so. They are also competitive over territory, food and nesting sites. The competitive nature requires much of their bodies, so if they have a defect, they tend to compete poorly.