1 Freaky Way Soda Ruins Your Looks

sodaOkay, who here wants to look younger? Or at least age more slowly? Well, toss your straws because I have some hair-raising news for you. Drinking soda can age you as much as smoking. SMOKING, people! How can something so refreshing be so old-making? Yikes. But that's not even the scariest part. Wait until you hear HOW drinking soda ages you. It's freaky.

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Drinking soda ages you because it messes with your mother-loving DNA. It alters your genes. This is some serious, science fiction-level stuff we're dealing with. AGHHH!!!

More from The Stir: My Diet Soda Addiction Was Ruining My Life

Now, here's how it all breaks down, for those of you interested in the technical details. Researchers found that people who regularly down a 20-ounce soda a day have shorter telomeres in their white blood cells. (Telomeres are protecting caps on our chromosomes.) That daily soda habit is linked to 4.6 extra years of biological aging. Dr. Elissa Epel, professor of psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco and senior author of the study, sums it up this way:

Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened sodas might influence disease development, not only by straining the body’s metabolic control of sugars, but also through accelerated cellular aging of tissues.

Right, so that's not good. There is a teensy bit of good news here, though. Epel and her team did not find the same effects on people who drink diet soda every day. But please -- soda's rap sheet is a mile long, and most misdemeanors apply to diet soda, too. Just check out this How Soda Destroys Your Body infographic.

Here's what I'm wondering: Will soda someday go the way of cigarettes? It sure seems like it's headed that way. I wouldn't be surprised if that happens by the time our kids are adults.

Do you care about avoiding things that will age you prematurely, or is that even on your radar yet?

 

Image © iStock.com/Alexlukin

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