Drinking too much pop can speed up the ageing process
By Fiona Macrae
Last updated at 2:08 AM on 28th April 2010
Phosphates in fizzy drinks were found to cause skin and muscles to wither in tests on mice
A liking for fizzy drinks could make you old before your time, scientists have warned.
Research shows that phosphate, which gives many soft drinks their tangy taste, can accelerate ageing.
The mineral, which is also added to processed meats, cakes and breads, was found to make the skin and muscles wither and could also damage the heart and kidneys.
Although the experiments were carried out in mice, the researchers – from the respected Harvard University – believe the results show the potential consequences of high doses of the mineral.
Gerald Weissmann, of the research journal FASEB, where the results were published, said: ‘Soda is the caffeine delivery vehicle of choice for millions of people worldwide, but comes with phosphorous as a passenger.
‘This research suggests that our phosphorous balance influences the ageing process, so don’t tip it.’
The study is not the first to raise concerns about the safety of the carbonated colas and juices enjoyed by billions every day.
In the latest study, Dr M. Shawkat Razzaque, of Harvard’s dentistry school, looked at the effects of phosphate on three sets of mice.
The first group was genetically engineered to have a gene called klotho, leading to them having higher than normal levels of phosphate.
They lived between eight and 15 weeks, suffering a range of health problems linked to premature ageing.
The second group lacked klotho, with the result that their phosphate levels were closer to normal. They lived for 20 weeks.
The third was bred to be like the second group, except they were fed a high-phosphate diet. All of these mice died by 15 weeks, like those in the first group.
This, the scientists suggest, shows that the phosphate diet had toxic effects.
They warned that the mineral could age the skin and muscles and might trigger or exacerbate kidney and heart problems.
They said: ‘Humans need a healthy diet and keeping the balance of phosphate in the diet may be important for a healthy life and longevity. Avoid phosphate toxicity and enjoy a healthy life.’
Earlier this year, a U.S. study found that two or more soft drinks a week could almost double the chances of pancreatic cancer.
Last night, drinks manufacturers questioned the latest research, pointing out that the study did not look specifically at soft drinks.
Richard Laming, of the British Soft Drinks Association, said: ‘Only 3 per cent of phosphorous in the overall diet comes from soft drinks.
‘People can continue to enjoy soft drinks in moderation as part of a balanced diet.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1269243/Fizzy-drinks-cause-premature-ageing-high-levels-phosphates.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0mM3SZ8yn