Two new studies highlight the potential negative effects that soft drinks and sugar can have on kidney health. Results of these studies were presented at ASN Kidney Week 2013 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA.

In one study, researchers from Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, in Japan, found that consuming at least two soft drinks per day is linked with proteinuria, or increased excretion of protein in the urine, which is a hallmark of kidney dysfunction. Among 3,579, 3,055, and 1,342 university-employee study participants with normal kidney function at the start of the study who reported that they drink zero, one, and two or more soft drinks per day, respectively, 301 (8.4%), 272 (8.9%) and 144 (10.7%) participants developed proteinuria during a median of 2.9 years of follow-up, respectively.

Another study (this one on rats) from researchers at Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, found that moderate fructose intake increases the kidneys’ sensitivity to angiotensin II, a protein that regulates salt balance. This leads to increased salt reabsorption by cells in the kidneys, a finding that might help explain why consumption of high-fructose corn syrup as a sweetener may contribute to diabetes, obesity, kidney failure and hypertension.

— Sources: Case Western Reserve University; Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine

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