A recent study was undertaken to assess the impact carbonated soft drinks on the brain, specifically if they induce oxidative stress and alter the expression of certain genes in the brain. There are known adverse effects of high consumption of soft drinks on the kidneys, liver and bone, however limited studies on the effects on the brain. Rats were given cola over a 3 month period in a controlled lab environment, then tested when the study was complete. The authors concluded that “the results of this study demonstrated that that carbonated soft drinks induced oxidative stress and altered the expression of certain genes that are associated with the brain activity and thus should be consumed with caution”.
The science of nutrigenomics demonstrates that the food and drink we consume on a daily basis affects the expression of our genes, every minute of every day. We used to think that the genome we were born with was our lot in life, but now know that we can influence the expression of our genes. Health genes or disease genes can be switched on and off. This study suggests that soft drinks switch on inflammatory genes that cause oxidative stress in our brains – potentially leading to cognitive, behavioural and mood problems.
Soft drinks are a treat – an “only sometimes” drink. Kids should be drinking about 1L of water a day, adults at least 2L of water for optimal health. Add a slice of apple and bit of cinnamon, or some lemon and mint, berries and vanilla or any favourite fruit or herb to flavour the water.
Genes load the gun. Environment pulls the trigger.
All of our posts reflect our philosophy at A Healthy View www.ahealthyview.com. A whole real food perspective on food and life. Extremes do not work but clean, whole, tasty and easy food choices can create a lifetime of good habits that lead to a lean, happy, and healthy person. Contact us on our website for our next Low Sugar Lifestyle program or a nutritional consult. Article by Rebekah Raymond, A Healthy View.