Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages detrimental to gut

04 Aug 2022
Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages detrimental to gut

People who consume sugar-sweetened beverages, rather than artificially sweetened beverages or natural juices, are at increased risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), especially Crohn’s disease (CD), as reported in a study.

The study included 121,490 participants (mean age 56.2 years, 55.7 percent female, 96.9 percent White) in the UK Biobank who were free of IBD at recruitment. All of them completed repeated 24-hour diet recalls that detailed intake of beverages.

More than half of the participants (66.3 percent) did not consume any sugar-sweetened beverages. Compared with nonconsumers, those who consumed sugar-sweetened beverages of >1 unit per day tended to have a greater body mass index (BMI) and a higher intake of total energy and sugar.

Over an average follow-up of 10.2 years, 510 participants developed IBD, translating to an incidence rate of 41 cases per 100,000 person-years. Of the IBD cases, 143 were CD and 367 were ulcerative colitis (UC), with incidence rates of 12 and 30 cases per 100,000 person-years, respectively.

In multivariable Cox proportional hazard models, consumption of >1 unit per day of sugar-sweetened beverages conferred a significantly higher risk of IBD compared with nonconsumption (hazard ratio [HR], 1.51, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.11–2.05), but the trend was nonsignificant (ptrend=0.170).

Among IBD subtypes, the association was significant for CD (HR, 2.05, 95 percent CI, 1.22–3.46) but not for UC (HR, 1.31, 95 percent CI, 0.89–1.92).

Meanwhile, consumption of artificially sweetened beverages or natural juices had a null effect on the risk of IBD.

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