Scientists Sound Alarm About Fructose-filled Sodas and Foods

NEWS – A recent study in a major nutritional journal notes a “remarkable increase in chronic kidney disease” plus a “remarkable increase in hypertension,” and dramatically rising rates of obesity and diabetes associated with the rise in fructose-filled foods and drinks. The authors present evidence that the unique ability of fructose (but not other sugars) to increase uric acid may be driving these increases. High levels of uric acid also increase risk of gout. See The Gout Report in this issue t for more information about how you can reduce your risk of gout and other uric-acid-related diseases.ACTION — If you must drink soda, consider switching to one made with cane sugar. (Diet sodas may also trigger health problems.) Switching to refreshing herb teas and water is an even better option. You can make your own healthy “soda” with a small amount of pure fruit juice or fruit juice concentrate and soda water. Check labels and avoid all drinks and foods made with fructose corn syrup.Johnson RJ, Segal, MS, et al. Potential role of sugar (fructose) in the epidemic of hypertension, obesity and the metabolic syndrome, diabetes, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007:86:899-906Vitamin D3 May Extend Life Span by 5 Years!NEWS — The good news about the sunshine vitamin just keeps getting better. Mounting scientific evidence links higher daily intake (over 1,000 — 2,000 IU) of vitamin D3 with dramatically reduced levels of pain, inflammation, cancer, MS, and even colds and flus. Now, British and American researchers say it may extend your life by up to five years, based on the measurement of telomere length in over 2,000 female twin pairs.ACTION — Take a supplement of 1,000-2,000 IU of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) daily. Do not rely on vitamin D2 (eregocalciferol) in milk and most multivitamins. Supplements of vitamin D2 are not used by the body in the same way as sunshine and are four times less effective than vitamin D3. Fifteen minutes of sunshine a day (without sunscreen) provides your body with natural vitamin D3.

Richards JB, Valdes AM, et al. Higher serum vitamin D concentrations are associated with longer leukocyte telomere length in women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Nov;86(5):1420-1425.

Coffee Lowers Risk of Gout 40%– Beer and Liquor Raise Risk, and Wine is Okay

NEWS — Researchers at Harvard Medical School and other institutions found compelling evidence that drinking four or more cups of coffee a day dramatically reduces the risk of gout for men. The risk of gout was 40 percent lower for men who drank 4 to 5 cups a day and 59 percent lower for men who drank 6 or more cups a day. Tea did not reduce risk of gout. The lead researcher, Dr. Choi, speculates that the mechanism of action may be the antioxidant action of phenol chlorogenic acid in coffee.

In a 2004 study, the same researchers found that beer and liquor raised serum uric acid levels, while moderate (1-2 glasses daily) wine drinking did not.

ACTION — If you have no health problems from drinking four cups of coffee a day — enjoy! (Avoid the new, sweetened coffee drinks. They have high levels of fructose.) If coffee gives you the jitters, prevents you from sleeping, or you just don’t like it, read the The Gout Report in this issue and discover easy, natural ways to lower your levels of uric acid—without drinking coffee!

Choi HK, Curhan G. Coffee consumption and risk of incident gout in men: a prospective study. Arthritis Rheum. 2007 Jun;56(6):2049-55.

Choi HK, Curhan G. Beer, liquor, and wine consumption and serum uric acid level: the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arthritis Rheum. 2004 Dec 15;51(6):1023-9.

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