Sugary drinks and High Blood Pressure
SALT may not be the only thing hypertensive patients need to cut down on, with research suggesting sugary soft drinks and fruit juices also increase blood pressure.
For every extra 355mL sugary drink consumed each day, a person’s average systolic BP rose by 1mmHG, while their diastolic BP rose by 0.4mmHg, a study found, after adjusting for participants’ weight and height.
Diet beverages, by contrast, were inversely linked to BP, the study of more than 2500 people found.
This was consistent with the study’s finding that fructose and glucose intake were directly linked with blood pressure - although this effect was stronger in people with high urinary sodium excretion.
The authors suggested that excessive fructose consumption might increase serum uric acid levels, which in turn would lower levels of the vasodilator nitrous oxide.
Writing in the journal Hypertension (online), they said their findings lent “support to recommendations for reducing intake of sugar sweetened beverages, added sugars, and salt for the improvement of cardiovascular health”.
People who drank lots of sugary drinks had poorer overall nutrition, the study also found – consuming less potassium, magnesium and calcium than people who drank smaller amounts.
Reporting on the findings, Dr Ian Brown of Imperial College London said soft-drink fans were “consuming empty calories without the nutritional benefits of real food”.
Hypertension 2011; online