Mixture of pollution and sugary drinks affects health, according to study

Contamination and consumption of sugary drinks causes severe damage to organs such as the pancreas and kidney, according to a study by researchers from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Since 2013, university students study and analyze the lung fragments of people who lived in Mexico City in the 50s and 80s.

Teresa Fortoul, member of the Department of Cell Biology of the Faculty of Medicine of the UNAM, explained that the result showed that, due to the burning of petroleum fuels, the concentration of metals -such as vanadium- in these atomic structures had increased over time.

In the case of Mexico City, due to its height and the incomplete combustion of the engines of the vehicles that circulate, particles with vanadium attached to the atmosphere are released into the atmosphere and, in combination with the consumption of sugary beverages, causes alterations in both the lipid profile as in blood glucose.

Regarding the kidney, Fortoul, together with the academic Adriana González Villalba and other researchers, found that when sweetened beverages are combined with vanadium, their functioning is altered as oxidative stress in the cells of the renal tubules.

“There are people who suffer renal alterations, but they are not clear why, and based on the results of our work we can consider the combination of air pollution with sugary drinks as a possible factor for these alterations to appear,” González Villalba explained. .

Similarly, the researchers found that this combination affects the neurons of the hippocampus, causing them to decrease, which could affect the memory and learning processes.

“Then, those who are exposed to this and other risk factors would be more susceptible to suffering from a neurodegenerative disease in the future,” said Raida Valencia, another of the researchers.

Finally, Fortoul commented that if the metabolic alteration represented by childhood obesity is compounded by the fact that the children of Mexico City live immersed in a polluted environment, it is likely that in the short or medium term many of them have problems of memory and learning.


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