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Sugary soda and juice can boost blood pressure, weight

March 8, 2011
  • By Patrick J. Skerrett, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

About the Author

photo of Patrick J. Skerrett

Patrick J. Skerrett, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

Pat Skerrett is the editor of STAT's First Opinion and host of the First Opinion podcast. He is the former editor of the Harvard Health blog and former Executive Editor of Harvard Health Publishing. Before that, he was editor of … See Full Bio
View all posts by Patrick J. Skerrett


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January 9, 2012

I think fresh juices are really good for you if your research and choose the right juice. There are so many vegetables and fruits that are benefitial to your health

Cuisinart CHW-12
December 26, 2011

What is your opinion of coffee and blood pressure? I’ve read differing opinions.

December 21, 2011

I often wonder why we don’t drink more water—it just kills me to see young people drinking super sized sodas!

October 16, 2011

Sugary drinks like soda and juice are also very acidic. I remember seeing a test that was done where soda had a ph of less than 3.[URL removed by moderator]

If soda has a ph of 2.5 to 3.0, it makes me wonder just how many more health that we face today are a result of drinking this stuff. The thought of drinking something that is almost as acidic as battery acid can’t be good for anyone.

The PH Miracle Diet refers to weight gain and disease from too much sugar and also refers to sugar as being acidic to the body. I believe Harvard was doing some studies on the reversal of cancer and diabetes based on this theory but I don’t know if they are ongoing or have completed.

Are you aware of these studies? If so, can you comment on them?

October 13, 2011

Very true, Unfortunately I have experienced it my self. You can say I am somewhat addict to drinking pepsi, coca cola etc, but as a result of that I have put on around 10 pounds within a year. And you people would not believe this because I am from medical field, dentist, myself and play soccer for an hour daily but still I put on extra 10 pounds. Now I am confirmed that this was due to my bad habit of drink pepsi etc regularly.
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September 21, 2011

I usually make my own juice every morning. But i always add 2 tbs of honey into it, and I have to say it taste sweeter than without adding honey into it. Is this kind of sugared juice you mentioned above? Every night I also drink milk with honey addition into it. Hope you explain it P.J. Thank you.

P.J. Skerrett
October 2, 2011

Naya — Any beverage that contains a high percentage of sugar, and that includes any fruit juice (with or without honey) is on the limit list.

natural remedies cancer
September 12, 2011

One concern is how the sweetened come from, is it syntactic or not extract pure natural compound. We need to watch carefully and don’t trust advertisement.

Nick Jones
August 16, 2011

Yes nearly everything these days is sugar filled, even drinks like orange juice ! (and I’m not talking about natural sugars here)

July 30, 2011

This is not shocking me, everything contains sugar-sweetened is not really good to our body. Why many people sacrificing their health over good tasting buds?
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April 9, 2011

Sugar as well as sodium found in sodas make elevations in blood pressure.Cutting back on sugary sodas and other sweet beverages may help lower blood pressure.
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Chris Huntley
April 6, 2011

Hi P.J.,
Don’t you think the results of this study are impossible to be truly “random”, as you said, since generally speaking, people who watch their sugar intake are also probably more likely to exercise and watch other aspects of their diet.
Also, my interest in your post is from my insurance background, so I wonder if you could comment on how high blood pressure affects life expectancy?
Thank you.
Chris Huntley, Author of Life Insurance Taking Blood Pressure Medication

P.J. Skerrett
April 6, 2011

Chris — There’s so much we don’t know about food and health that I’ll stick with my caution about cause and effect. Regarding hypertension and life expectancy, here’s a link to a model estimating a gain of 27-32 months for a 40-year man with hypertension who gets his BP under control: You can see the results of the full search on PubMed, the National Library of Medicine’s terrific database, at

I just read an article about risk and disease that might be of interest to you. Author Peter Schwartz takes a look at the difference between risk factors, like high blood pressure, and diseases.

PJ Skerrett

Natural Remedies for Diabetes
April 1, 2011

what causes diabetes? what they have done wrong with their life style? Well, this disease appears when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or it stops producing insulin or the insulin which is produced does not work efficiently. This causes a high level of glucose in the blood.
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Habib Mohon Moni
March 19, 2011

Great list, this is going to be really helpful!
Really thanks for this usefull post.

Helen Hoart
March 8, 2011

And sparkling water with a slice of lemon or lime tastes really good too!

Commenting has been closed for this post.

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