Sugar, soft drinks linked to impaired kidney function in humans and animals

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Too much of soft drinks and sugar in diet is already known to spur obesity woes, which in turn spells cardiovascular dangers. Adding more to this, consuming too much sugar in diet may also contribute to impaired kidney health, two new studies have found.

According to the findings of human and animal studies, even moderate consumption of sugar heightens the risk of kidney dysfunction.

The Human Trial

In the first study, researchers at the Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, in Japan, looked at almost 8,000 university employees with normal kidney function.

While 3579 subjects reportedly consumed no soft drinks, 3055 consumed one soft drink per day and 1342 took two or more soft drinks per day.

The participants were tracked for about three years.

At the end of the trial, 301 (8.4 percent), 272 (8.9 percent) and 144 (10.7 percent) employees developed proteinuria, respectively. Proteinuria is marked by increased excretion of protein in the urine, a characteristic of kidney dysfunction.

The findings established that even gulping down as less as two soft drinks per day was also linked to impaired kidney function.

The Animal Trial

For the second study, researchers from the Case Western Reserve University in US conducted experiments on rats.

While few rodents were administered a high sugar diet others were not.

The researchers observed that even a moderate fructose intake increased the kidney’s sensitivity to angiotensin II, a protein responsible for regulating body’s salt balance. The kidneys, thus, end up reabsorbing more salt, increasing the risk of kidney failure, hypertension, obesity and diabetes.

The findings of the two trials were presented at the American Society of Nephrology Kidney Week 2013 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, US.

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