Just two sugary drinks a week is hazardous – research


Research shows that just two sugar sweetened beverages a week may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, while drinking one a day may raise blood pressure.


A Stellenbosch University review of 36 studies found that the consumption of sweetened drinks is steadily rising worldwide, impacting directly on metabolic syndrome — a cluster of risk factors which contribute to heart disease and diabetes such as abdominal fat, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and unhealthy cholesterol levels.


The review’s senior author, Professor Faadiel Essop said: “Our analysis revealed that… frequent intake of these beverages contributes to the onset of the metabolic syndrome, diabetes and hypertension…there is a need for public education about the harmful effects of excess consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.”


Published in the Journal of the Endocrine the review further noted: “Studies on diet and diabetes revealed consuming as few as two servings of sugar-sweetened beverages a week was linked to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes…(and) drinking at least one sugar-sweetened beverage a day was associated with elevated blood pressure.”


Another recent study, published in the Metabolic Brain Disease Journal and conducted on mice, found that curcumin supplementation partially counteracted the cluster of risk factors that make up metabolic syndrome. Curcumin, proven to counter inflammation, is the active ingredient in the spice turmeric.


In the past, poor absorption of curcumin has had limitations. However, this study was conducted with Biocurcuma™ which contains BCM-95, a significantly more bioavailable form of curcumin extract also found in Bio-Curcumin which is available in South Africa.


Health and wellness expert, Vanessa Ascencao said a host of studies showed curcumin’s medicinal properties adding that inflammation was linked to most conditions making up metabolic syndrome, diabetes and obesity. She added that SA women had the highest incidence of obesity in sub-Saharan Africa at 42% and urged South Africans to adopt a more holistic approach to health. She shared the following tips to counter metabolic syndrome and diabetes:

  • Practice self-care. This includes regular check-ups and educating yourself about health
  • Regular exercise helps improve cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, reduce insulin resistance and improve heart function
  • Follow a healthy diet of whole, unprocessed foods which includes lots of vegetables, salads, some fruit, free range meat and healthy fats. Avoid refined carbs and sugar-laden snacks and drinks
  • Strive for a healthy body weight
  • Quit smoking or drinking too much alcohol
  • Take a good quality anti-inflammation supplement such as clinically proven, 100% natural and seven times more bio-active curcumin extract, Bio-Curcumin, which contains BCM-95
  • Supplement with fish oil which protects the heart, eases inflammation, improves mental and cardiovascular health, and lengthens life. Try Purest Omega 3, a potent omega 3 supplement, shown to be among the purest and freshest available.


Bio-Curcumin and Purest Omega 3 is available nationally at leading health stores, pharmacies and Dis-Chem.


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