Posted by on January 31, 2011 - 11:03am

Though the risk of gout is low in women, a new study reported in JAMA found that increasing intake of sugar-sweetened soda was associated with an increasing risk of gout.   Women who consumed 1 serving per day (compared to women who had less than 1 serving per month) had a a 74% increased risk of gout.   Women who consumed 2 or more servings had a 2.4 times higher risk.    The same result was not found in women drinking diet soft drinks. However, a single serving of orange juice per day also demonstrated an increased risk.

Fructose rich drinks increase serum uric acid levels, a trigger for gout, though the prospective data on the relationship are limited.

The researchers analyzed 78,906 women with no history of gout from the U.S. Nurses' Health Study.  They identified newly diagnosed cases of gout in 778 of the women.

Gout is a painful inflammatory type of arthritis.   5% of arthritis cases are gout.   In the U.S. 8.5/1000 people have had gout.   Gout affects men more than women.

Posted by on November 24, 2010 - 12:45pm

In a new meta-analysis published in the November 2010 issue of Diabetes Care, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health report that consumption of just one or two sugar-sweetened beverages per day is associated with a 26% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes and a 20% increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome.   Senior author Dr. Frank Hu put this into perspective,  "So for those who drink two to three sodas per day, their risk of developing type 2 diabetes would be increased by 30-40% which is not very different from the increased risk associated with cigarette smoking."

It is not clear from the study if the main reason for the increased risk is due to the increase in calories or due to the combination of  excess calories and some unique metabolic effects of fructose and other components of soft drinks.

The authors note that the jury is still out on the long-term effects of artificial sweeteners in soft drinks, so they caution against substituting diet sodas or drinks for sugar sweetened ones.    Water, nonsweetened tea or coffee may be better choices.