Women who drink two cans of soda a day face almost double the risk of early kidney disease say Loyola researchers. A recent study found that women who reported drinking two cans of soda daily had high levels of the protein albumin in their urine, an early indication of kidney disease.
David Shoham of Loyola University Health System led the analysis, saying that the same risk did not apply to men, nor was the risk of kidney disease found for those who consume diet soda. Shoham is an assistant professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology.
Shoham and his colleagues wonder if kidney disease is on the rise because of high fructose corn syrup, found in many products. The scientists are not certain why soda consumption increases risk of kidney disease just in women. Approximately 11 percent of people have the protein albumin in their urine, a condition known as albuminuria
It may not be high fructose corn syrup causing the problem. It may be overconsumption of sugar says Shoham. "I don't think there is anything demonic about high fructose corn syrup per se. People are consuming too much sugar. The problem with high fructose corn syrup is that it contributes to over consumption. It's cheap, it has a long shelf life and it allows you to buy a case of soda for less than $10."
The researchers also wonder if the recent discovery of mercury in corn syrup is contributing to signs of early kidney disease found in the women. "This adds the intriguing possibility that it is not just the sugar itself in high fructose corn syrup that is harmful, because mercury is harmful to kidneys as well."
The researchers found the link between drinking soda and kidney disease by extracting data from 9,358 U.S. adults in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). They found that 17 percent of those with albuminuria as an early indicator of kidney disease drank two or more cans of soda daily, and the risk was only seen in women.
The authors do see a potential link between the increasing incidence of diabetes and kidney disease that correlates with consuming corn syrup laden products.
The scientists wonder why kidney disease is showing up in women who drink two or more cans of soda daily. They recommend more studies to determine exactly what combination of diet and lifestyle factors may be contributing to their findings.