Soda Intake Linked to Telomere Length Reduction


Soda Intake Linked to Telomere Length Reduction

Life Extension Update

Tuesday, November 4, 2014. The American Journal of Public Health published an article on October 16, 2014 that revealed an association between drinking sugar-sweetened sodas and the presence of shorter telomeres.

Telomeres are caps at the ends of chromosomes that naturally shorten with each cell cycle. Increased telomere shortening has been associated with oxidative damage, inflammation and chronic diseases, including diabetes.

The study included 5,309 men and women between 20 and 65 years of age enrolled in the 1999-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Twenty-four hour dietary questionnaire responses were analyzed for sugar-sweetened soda, diet soda, noncarbonated sugar-sweetened beverage and fruit juice intake. White blood cell telomere length was measured in the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) laboratory of study coauthor and Nobel Prize winner Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD.

After adjustment for several factors, increased sugar-sweetened soda intake was associated with a reduction in telomere length. No association was found between diet sodas or noncarbonated sugar sweetened beverages and telomere length. "It is critical to understand both dietary factors that may shorten telomeres, as well as dietary factors that may lengthen telomeres," noted lead author Cindy Leung, of the UCSF Center for Health and Community. "Here it appeared that the only beverage consumption that had a measurable negative association with telomere length was consumption of sugared soda."

Senior author Elissa Epel, PhD, suggested that "Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened sodas might influence disease development, not only by straining the body's metabolic control of sugars, but also through accelerated cellular aging of tissues."

"This is the first demonstration that soda is associated with telomere shortness," she announced. "This finding held regardless of age, race, income and education level. Telomere shortening starts long before disease onset. Further, although we only studied adults here, it is possible that soda consumption is associated with telomere shortening in children, as well."

What's Hot
Lifestyle cancels out stress
brain volume  

In an article published online on July 29, 2014 in Molecular Psychiatry, Nobel Prize winner Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD, and her colleagues report a benefit for positive lifestyle practices in combating the negative effects of stress on telomeres: protective caps at the ends of chromosomes whose rate of shortening is viewed as a marker of aging.

By following 239 healthy postmenopausal women, researchers at UC San Francisco uncovered a significantly increased decline in white blood cell telomere length in association with every major life stressor that occurred over the previous year. However, those who reported greater levels of positive health factors at four time points, including consuming a healthy diet, engaging in physical activity and experiencing quality sleep, appeared to be protected from stress's adverse effects. "The study participants who exercised, slept well and ate well had less telomere shortening than the ones who didn't maintain healthy lifestyles, even when they had similar levels of stress," reported lead author Eli Puterman, PhD, who is an assistant professor at the university's department of psychiatry. "It's very important that we promote healthy living, especially under circumstances of typical experiences of life stressors like death, caregiving and job loss."

"This is the first study that supports the idea, at least observationally, that stressful events can accelerate immune cell aging in adults, even in the short period of one year," he announced. "Exciting, though, is that these results further suggest that keeping active, and eating and sleeping well during periods of high stress are particularly important to attenuate the accelerated aging of our immune cells."

"These new results are exciting yet observational at this point," Dr Blackburn noted. "They do provide the impetus to move forward with interventions to modify lifestyle in those experiencing a lot of stress, to test whether telomere attrition can truly be slowed."

Life Extension Clinical Research Update

Support Male Sexual Health

Study Objective: Assess the effect of a nutritional supplement for male sexual health over the course of 30 days.

To Qualify:

  • You must be between 50 and 70 years of age.
  • Be in a stable sexual relationship for at least 6 or more months.
  • Able to comply with all study procedures and visits.

Your Involvement:

  • You will make 3 visits over 30 days.
  • You will receive the nutritional supplement to be studied, blood pressure evaluations, and blood tests including a male hormone panel.
  • Upon successful completion of the trial, you will be compensated for time and travel up to $100.

Register For This Study
Or call 1-866-517-4536

If qualified you will receive:

  • Study product
  • Blood tests including a Male Hormone Panel
  • Blood pressure evaluations
  • Up to $100 for time and travel expenses
  • Referral bonus available: $50


Funding Scientific Research: The principal mission of the Life Extension Foundation®

Since its inception in 1980, the Life Extension Foundation (LEF) has conducted scientific research that goes beyond the scope of academic institutions and biomedical companies. The purpose of this research is to identify and validate technologies that can delay/reverse aging and prevent premature death. Mainstream research today is focused on how to treat heart attacks, cancer, Alzheimer's disease and strokes. These are the diseases that we generally assume cause death. What most doctors don't yet recognize is that these devastating illnesses are caused mostly by aging. The Life Extension Foundation has provided more than $140 million to scientists across the country to look beyond the disease state and instead search for authentic anti-aging solutions. Our objective is to prevent or postpone age-related disease, restore health, and provide much longer and higher-quality human life spans.


Health Concern


brain volume  

America is in the midst of a diabetes epidemic. Over the past 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled, and children are being diagnosed with diabetes in alarming numbers. Diabetes has rapidly emerged as a leading culprit in the epidemic of heart disease, as well as being a leading cause of amputation and blindness among adults.

It is crucial that diabetics (and those predisposed to diabetes) understand the ways in which blood glucose causes damage and take active steps to interrupt these processes. The most notorious process is glycation (i.e., sugar molecules reacting with proteins to produce nonfunctional structures in the body). Glycation compromises proteins throughout the body, thus is a key feature of diabetes-related complications (e.g., nerve damage, heart attack, and blindness).

Oxidative stress is also central to the damage caused by diabetes. Diabetics suffer from high levels of free radicals that damage arteries throughout the body. It is important that diabetics understand the need for antioxidant therapy to help reduce oxidative stress and lower the risk of diabetic complications.

Read More
Latest Products
Mega Green Tea Extract

Natural Estrogen, 60 vegetarian tablets

Item #01892
Add to Cart

Natural Estrogen combines a patented hops extract with standardized lignans and other compounds that have been shown to target menopause symptoms. The compounds in Natural Estrogen include:

  • Hops extract: Clinically shown to reduce frequency of hot flashes by 50% and improve various other menopausal discomforts.
  • Lignan extract: Clinically shown to block some of estrogen's unwanted effects.
  • Licorice extract: Clinically shown to reduce the severity and frequency of hot flashes.
  • Broccoli extract: Found to modulate estrogens and maintain healthy cell division.
  • Dong quai: Believed in Chinese medicine to help with menstruation and menopausal symptoms.
  • Chasteberry extract (Vitex agnus-castus): Shown to support hormone and neurotransmitter balance, which is important for relief of menopausal symptoms.
Mega Green Tea Extract

Super Bio-Curcumin®, 400 mg, 60 vegetarian capsules

Item #00407
Add to Cart

Super Bio-Curcumin® absorbs up to seven times better than conventional curcumin. So this patented formula represents the most cost-effective way to supplement with this critical nutrient. Studies show that one 400 mg capsule a day of this turmeric compound can provide curcumin blood levels equal to ingesting 2,500–2,800 mg of commercial curcumin supplements. Not only does this turmeric formulation provide far greater peak blood levels, but the curcumin remains in the bloodstream almost twice as long as conventional supplements. This enhanced absorption delivery complex provides other beneficial turmeric compounds in addition to standardized curcumin.

Each 400 mg capsule of Super Bio-Curcumin® is equivalent to 2,772 mg of a typical 95% curcumin extract.

Bio-Curcumin® and BCM-95® are registered trademarks of Dolcas-Biotech, LLC. U.S. Patent Nos. 7,883,728, 7,736,679, and 7,879,373.

Related Life Extension Magazine® Articles
What We Are Doing To Reverse Your Biological Age New Reason to Avoid Stress