How Soft Drinks are Linked to Lung Problems
Soda and soft drinks are now linked to asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, according to a new report. A recent study highlighted the link between diet sodas and risk of heart disease and stroke.
The new study compared people who drink at least a half-liter of soft drinks daily to those who consumed none to find they were twice as likely to develop asthma or COPD.
The link between soft drinks and lung problems isn’t clear. According to researchers Zumin Shi, MD, of the University of Adelaide in Australia, and colleagues, people who consume large quantities of sodas and soft drinks may also have other unhealthy dietary habits that could contribute to the findings.
Other beverages consumed by the study participants were lemonade, flavored mineral water, and sports drinks.
The study finding is published in the journal Respirology and is believed to be the first to link drinking soda to asthma and COPD.
Smoking in combination with soft drink consumption was associated with a 6.6-fold greater risk of COPD and a 1.5 increased risk of asthma compared to non-smokers who consumed soft drinks.
The authors concluded that "regardless of whether there is a cause-and-effect relationship, the public health implications of consumption of large volumes of soft drink are substantial."
The finding doesn’t mean drinking sodas cause asthma or COPD.
Other risks of lung disease associated with soft drink consumption might include obesity, drinking from plastic bottles that contain phthalates which might promote asthma and allergies, or oxidative stress and inflammation that comes from eating an unhealthy diet. Past studies have linked high levels of phosphorous in sodas to accelerated aging and lung cancer.
Shi Z, et al "Association between soft drink consumption and asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among adults in Australia" Respirol 2012; 17: 363-369.
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