(Natural News) Sugary drinks aren’t just bad for your teeth. According to a recent study, children aged two to three years old who consume sugar-sweetened beverages can have shorter telomeres.
The study by researchers from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) revealed that if this early-life exposure alters the length of telomeres, or “the protective end caps for DNA within cells’ chromosomes,” it could even affect risk for chronic illnesses as the children grow older.
Telomeres shrink as people age, and this change is often linked to some adult studies with metabolic and inflammatory diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, liver cirrhosis, and ulcerative colitis. (Related: Soda consumption dramatically increases risk of stroke and vascular disease.)
Janet Wojcicki, Ph.D., associate professor at the UCSF Department of Pediatrics and the lead author of the study, explained that research has determined that the length of telomeres drastically “shortens fastest in the first years of life,” but it remains unknown if this is linked to chronic disease risks.
For the study, the scientists from UCSF checked telomere length in white blood cells from 61 Latino children who drank beverages like soda, sweetened juices and Kool-Aid. Telomere length was measured via a method called qPCR, “which compares the ratio of the abundance of telomeres versus the abundance of a single copy gene (t/s ratio).” This data indicates the average telomere length in a population of cells. Measurements were taken during infancy, and it was taken again during the preschool years of the children…Read More