28 April 2010

Soda drinks found to accelerate signs of aging

by Kate Melville

New research in the FASEB Journal shows that the phosphates in popular sodas accelerate signs of aging and may also increase the prevalence of age-related complications such as kidney disease, cardiovascular calcification and skin atrophy.

To make this discovery, Harvard researcher M. Shawkat Razzaque examined the effects of high phosphate levels in three groups of mice. The first group of mice was missing a gene (klotho), which when absent, causes mice to have toxic levels of phosphate in their bodies. These mice lived 8 to 15 weeks.

The second group of mice was missing the klotho gene and a second gene (NaPi2a), which when absent at the same time, substantially lowered the amount of phosphate in their bodies. These mice lived to 20 weeks.

The third group of mice was like the second group (missing both the klotho and NaPi2a genes), except they were fed a high-phosphate diet. All of these mice died by 15 weeks, like those in the first group. According to Razzaque, this suggests that phosphate has toxic effects in mice, and may have a similar effect in other mammals, including humans.

"Humans need a healthy diet and keeping the balance of phosphate in the diet may be important for a healthy life and longevity," said Razzaque, from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. "Avoid phosphate toxicity and enjoy a healthy life."

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Source: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology