Drinking a can of sugary soda every day can dramatically heighten a person’s risk of developing a “warning sign” condition that precedes full-blown type 2 diabetes, a new study reports.
A person who drinks a daily can of sugar-sweetened beverage has a 46 percent increased risk of developing prediabetes, said senior researcher Nicola McKeown, a scientist with the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston.
However, a can of diet soda every day does not boost prediabetes risk, the researchers found.
The results show how regular sugar intake can batter a person’s body on a cellular level, McKeown said.
Cells require the hormone insulin to break down sugar into energy, she said. But too much sugar in the diet can overexpose the cells to insulin.
“This constant spike in blood glucose over time leads to the cells not becoming able to properly respond, and that’s the beginning of insulin resistance,” McKeown said.
Once insulin resistance starts, blood sugar levels rise to levels that are damaging to every major system in the body.