Sweet Sodas Linked To Depression

Sweet Sodas Linked To DepressionWe know that sugary sodas aren’t good for our bodies; now it turns out that they may not be good for our minds, either. A new study of more than 260,000 people has found a link between sweetened soft-drinks and depression — and diet sodas may be making matters worse.

The study, which was released on Tuesday and will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting in March, involved 263,925 people between the ages of 50 and 71. Researchers tracked their consumption of beverages like soda, tea, coffee, and other soft drinks from 1995 to 1996 and then, 10 years later, asked them if they had been diagnosed with depression since the year 2000. More than 11,300 of them had.

Participants who drank more than four servings of soda per day were 30 percent more likely to develop depression than participants who did not drink soda at all. People who stuck with fruit punch had a 38 percent higher risk than people who didn’t drink sweetened drinks. And all that extra sugar isn’t the actual problem: The research showed that low-calorie diet sodas, iced teas, and fruit punches were linked to an slightly higher risk of depression than the high-calorie stuff. Researchers say that the artificial sweetener aspartame may be to blame.


But there’s a bright side for those who can’t do without the caffeinated jolt of their daily sodas. Adults who drank coffee had a 10 percent lower risk of depression compared to people who didn’t drink any coffee, according to the study. That reinforces findings from a 2011 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, which said that women who drink fully caffeinated coffee have a lower risk of depression than non-coffee drinkers. Dr. Honglei Chen, an investigator at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, cautions that, if you’ve been diagnosed with depression, cutting your soda intake isn’t necessarily going to help.

“More research is needed to confirm these findings,” Chen said, “and people with depression should continue to take depression medications prescribed by their doctors.”

How much soda do you consume daily or weekly? Do you plan to cut down on your soda habits?

Source: Lylah M. Alphonse, Yahoo Shine

Image: News Whip

Dangerous Food Ingredients To Watch Out For On Nutrition Labels

The nutrition label can predict the future size of your pants and health care bills. The Food and Drug Administration has approved more than 3,000 additives, but you don’t have to know them all. You just need to be able to parse out the bad stuff. Here are 5 ingredients you never want to see on the nutrition label.

Parabens

These synthetic preservatives are used to inhibit mold and yeast in food. But a study in Food Chemical Toxicology found that daily ingestion decreased sperm and testosterone production in rats, and parabens have been found present in breast cancer tissues.

Partially Hydrogenated Oil

Don’t confuse “0 g trans fat” with being trans fat-free. The FDA allows products to claim zero grams of trans fat as long as they have less than half a gram per serving. Considering that two grams is the absolute most you ought to consume in a day, those fractions can quickly add up. If it’s anywhere on there, then you’re ingesting artery-clogging trans fat.

Sodium Nitrite

Nitrites and nitrates are used to inhibit botulism-causing bacteria and to maintain processed meats’ pink hues, which is why the FDA allows their use. Unfortunately, once ingested, nitrite can fuse with amino acids (of which meat is a prime source) to form nitrosamines, powerful carcinogenic compounds.


Caramel Coloring

This additive wouldn’t be dangerous if you made it the old-fashioned way—with water and sugar, on top of a stove. But the food industry follows a different recipe: They treat sugar with ammonia, which can produce some nasty carcinogens. A Center for Science in the Public Interest asserted that the high levels of caramel color found in soda account for roughly 15,000 cancers in the U.S. annually.

Food Dyes

Not only do these dyes allow manufacturers to mask the drab colors of heavily processed foods, but certain hues have been linked to more serious ailments. A Journal of Pediatrics study linked Yellow 5 to hyperactivity in children, Canadian researchers found Yellow 6 and Red 40 to be contaminated with known carcinogens, and Red 3 is known to cause tumors.

Have you been checking out the nutrition labels of your groceries lately? How often do you consume foods containing these dangerous ingredients?

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Life Extension