Women who drink two or more cans of soda pop per day are at an increased risk of developing early kidney disease, according to a new study.
The study led by David Shoham of Loyola University Health System has shown that women who drink two or more sodas a day were 1.86 times more likely to have albuminuria, a sensitive marker for early kidney damage.
Albuminuria is an excess amount of a protein called albumin in the urine. Since healthy kidneys filter out large molecules such as albumin, an excess amount can be a sign of damage to the kidneys.
For the study, the researchers examined the data from a representative sample of 9,358 U.S. adults in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
The findings revealed that among those who drink two or more cans of soda per day, 17 percent have this early marker of kidney disease.
However, they did not find any elevated risk for men, or for people who drink diet soda.
Shoham said that there may be an unknown underlying cause that is linked to both soda consumption and kidney damage.
In recent years, diabetes, obesity and kidney disease have been increasing, along with consumption of high fructose corn syrup, the sweetener used in most sodas.
But what's most important is the amount of sugar, not the type, Shoham said
"I don't think there is anything demonic about high fructose corn syrup per se," Shoham said.
"People are consuming too much sugar. The problem with high fructose corn syrup is that it contributes to over consumption. It's cheap, it has a long shelf life and it allows you to buy a case of soda for less than 10 dollars," he added.
The study was published in PloS ONE, a peer-reviewed journal of science and medical research published by the Public Library of Science.