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News: November 6, 2009

Salt and diet soda can both take a toll on kidneys

November 6, 2009

Research from Brigham and Women's Hospital shows that salt and diet soda can take a toll on our kidneys. Consuming a high salt diet and artificially sweetened drinks was linked to greater kidney function declines over an eleven year period.

Women participating in the Nurses' Health Study were examined to find the association between diet soda and salt on kidney function decline, and included 3000 women.

The study, led by Julie Lin MD, MPH, FASN and Gary Curhan, MD, ScD, FASN of Brigham and Women's Hospital suggests that a high salt diet and artificial sweeteners in soda cause progressive harm to the kidneys.

The first study looked at salt intake in 3000 women, examining the effect of diet over a period of eleven years. According to the results, "in women with well-preserved kidney function, higher dietary sodium intake was associated with greater kidney function decline, which is consistent with experimental animal data that high sodium intake promotes progressive kidney decline."

In a second study, also taken from the Nurses' Health Study, "a significant two-fold increased odds, between two or more servings per day of artificially sweetened soda and faster kidney function decline". No relation between sugar-sweetened beverages and kidney function decline was noted" according to Dr. Lin.

The role of artificial sweeteners and kidney decline needs more research, and has not been previously investigated. Other factors, including cardiovascular disease, age, caloric intake, obesity, high blood pressure, and cigarette smoking were all taken into account, yet the association between artificial sweeteners and kidney function decline persisted. Most of the participants were older, Caucasian women. The authors say the findings may not apply to men or other ethnic groups.

The two studies, "Associations of Diet with Kidney Function Decline", and "Associations of Sweetened Beverages with Kidney Function Decline", are presented at the American Society of Nephrology's annual meeting in San Diego, California.

Kidney disease develops over a long period of time, and can lead to complications including high blood pressure, nerve damage, poor nutritional health, anemia, and heart disease. According to the National Kidney Foundation, more than 26 million Americans suffer from kidney disease.

Soft drinks can also take a toll on overall health and well-being, shown in multiple studies. Research, published February 2009, shows that women's risk of kidney disease doubles with just two cans of soda daily, but interestingly, not with diet soda, unlike the current study.

The new study shows that sale and diet soda, could lead to decline in kidney function. Over time, salt and diet soda could take a toll on otherwise healthy kidneys.



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November 29, 2009 | Rituximab May Offer Hope To Severe Graves' Eye Disease Patients

There may be hope for patients with severe Graves' eye disease in the form of treatment with the drug rituximab.  This news comes from U-M Kellogg Eye Center who's oculoplastics specialist Raymond S. Douglas, M.D., Ph.D. reports on the potential of the drug in the online October issue of Ophthalmology.  Graves' eye disease is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and fatty deposits in the eye ...

November 28, 2009 | New guidelines urged for H1N1 protection among healthcare employees

Infectious disease experts are calling for a moratorium on OSHA guidelines for health care employees that require the use of fit-tested N95 respirators for personal protection from H1N1 flu. Three leading infectious disease organizations, have written a letter to President Obama citing lack of scientific evidence that N95 respirators offer additional protection from the virus, compared to surgical masks. The scientific groups urge new guidelines for H1N1 flu ...

November 27, 2009 | Air Pollution Raises Infants' Risk of Bronchiolitis

Infants who are exposed to higher levels of air pollution, including vehicle and industrial emissions and wood smoke, are at increased risk for bronchiolitis. The study is unique because it evaluated multiple sources of air pollution and their impact on infants' ...

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