Fizzy drinks and processed foods containing high levels of phosphate could speed up the aging process, say scientists
Brace yourself if you’re a fan of fizzy drinks. Researchers have revealed that phosphate added to soft drinks to give them their tangy taste may accelerate aging.
The study, published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal (FASEB), shows that the mineral – also added to processed meats, cakes and breads – can make the skin and muscles wither, and can also damage the heart and kidneys.
Scientists made their discovery after examining the effects of high phosphate levels in three groups of mice. Those fed a high-phosphate diet lived 8 to 15 weeks, compared to those with substantially less amounts in their bodies which lived up to 20 weeks.
‘Humans need a healthy diet and keeping the balance of phosphate in the diet may be important for a healthy life and longevity,’ says Mohammed Razzaque, from the Department of Medicine, Infection and Immunity at the Harvard School of Medicine. ‘Avoid phosphate toxity and enjoy a healthy life.’
Gerald Weissmann, of the research journal FASEB agrees. ‘Soda is the caffeine delivery vehicle of choice for millions of people worldwide, but comes with phosphorous as a passenger.
‘The research suggests that our phosphorous balance influenced the ageing process, so don’t tip it.’