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Fruit juice wreaks havoc on baby’s weight, heart, gums

By Chukwuma Muanya, Assistant Editor   |   24 May 2017   |   3:25 am

Fruit juice is dangerous for children under one year old, health officials have declared. Until now, experts said babies can start trying the sweet drink from six months old.

Fruit juice is dangerous for children under one year old, health officials have declared. Until now, experts said babies can start trying the sweet drink from six months old.

But in a new policy published on Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics warned parents that the seemingly healthy beverage could be damaging for the entire first year of life.

While fresh fruit contains ample levels of fiber and vitamins, juices are mainly sweetener with fruit flavor – which can send blood sugar levels skyrocketing and trigger obesity, the report explains.

In fact, the AAP says parents should only let their child drink juice if a medical professional prescribes it to treat constipation – and even then, it must be 100 percent fruit juice, not concentrate.

While fresh fruit contains ample levels of fiber and vitamins, juices are mainly sugar with fruit flavor, which can send sugar levels rocketing and trigger obesity, officials say in a new policy

The previous policy said that children aged six months to six years could have up to six ounces a day of fruit juice. Once they hit seven years old, they could double that quantity.

Since that policy was published in 2006, however, there has been a swell of medical research into fruit juice as a driver of obesity rates and risks for dental care.

In the new recommendations, AAP researchers urge pediatricians to tell parents to mash up fresh fruit for their children, instead of giving them juice. Water and milk should be their main – if not only – liquid for young children.

Another study, conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, found that women who drank four or more cups of coffee were 20 percent less likely to suffer from depression.

A cup of brewed coffee represents a contribution of up to 1.8 grams of fiber of the recommended intake of between 20 to 38 grams.A 2015 study showed that at least four cups of coffee a day may help protect against the development and reoccurrence of MS.

It is believed that coffee prevents the neural inflammation that possibly leads to the disease developing.Her colleague, Licia Iacoviello, head of the Molecular and Nutritional Epidemiology Laboratory, says the region where the study took place may have affected the outcome.

A 2014 study from the University of California found that drinking two espressos a day enhanced the process of memory consolidation. This process, in turn, improved long-term memory among the participants.

Espresso was also shown to improve exercise performance. A study published in the Medicine and Science in Sports Journal found that caffeine made workouts appear less strenuous, by lowering the perceived level of exertion by over five percent.

Meanwhile, drinking 32 ounces of a commercially available energy drink resulted in more profound changes in the heart’s electrical activity and blood pressure than drinking 32 ounces of a control drink with the same amount of caffeine – 320 milligrams (mg), according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

While the United States (U.S.) Food and Drug Administration generally considers caffeine in doses of less than 400 mg as safe, energy drinks often consist of not only caffeine but proprietary energy blends. With more than 500 types of energy drinks on the market, there has been an increase in energy-drink-associated emergency room visits and deaths, prompting questions about their safety, researchers said.

“We decided to study energy drinks’ potential heart health impact because previous research has shown 75 percent of the base’s military personnel have consumed an energy drink. And nearly 15 percent of military personnel, in general, drink three cans a day when deployed, which is more than we studied here,” said Emily A. Fletcher, Pharm.D., study author and deputy pharmacy flight commander from David Grant U.S.A.F. Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base in California.

Eighteen young participants were randomly divided into two groups. The first group received 32 ounces of a commercially-available energy drink (containing 108 g of sugar, 320 mg of caffeine, and various other compounds). The second group was given a control drink containing 320 mg of caffeine, 40 ml of lime juice and 140 ml of cherry syrup in carbonated water. After a six-day washout period, participants switched drinks.

Researchers measured the electrical activity of the volunteers’ hearts by electrocardiogram. They also measured their peripheral and central blood pressures at the study’s start and at one, two, four, six and 24 hours after drink consumption.

“Peripheral blood pressure is the measurement of the pressure in an outlying artery, typically an upper arm. Central blood pressure is the measurement of the pressure in the aorta near the heart,” she said. “Blood pressures at each location are not always affected equally when a substance is introduced, such as medications. Central blood pressure is an emerging and potentially superior method to assess health outcomes related to elevated blood pressure.”

They found that, when compared to the caffeine group, those in the energy drink group had a corrected QT interval 10-milliseconds higher at two hours.”The QT interval is the measurement of the time it takes ventricles in the heart (the lower chambers) to repolarize, or prepare to generate a beat again. It’s the pause from the end of the electrical impulse generating the heart to beat to the next impulse,” Fletcher said. “If this time interval, which is measured in milliseconds, is either too short or too long, it can cause the heart to beat abnormally. The resulting arrhythmia can be life threatening.”

To put the 10-millisecond difference in perspective, there are medications that affect the corrected QT interval by 6 milliseconds and have warnings about the effect on product labels, Fletcher said.While both the energy drink and caffeine-only groups had


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