Acute Effects of Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption on Hemodynamics and Reactive Hyperemia in Young, Healthy Humans

Joshua L. Keller, Elizabeth K. Kelsch, Anne R. Crecelius

Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, USA. Department of Exercise and Sport Science, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA. Department of Health and Sport Science, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH, USA

Background: Previously, the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) has been associated with the onset of cardiovascular disease. In addition, reactive hyperemia (RH), a measure of microvascular function, has been associated with cardiovascular disease risk.

Purpose: Therefore, the purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that consumption of a SSB would acutely mitigate microvascular responses.

Methods: Thirteen subjects consumed 24 fluid ounces of water or SSB (68g mixture of fructose and dextrose). Prior to, immediately after, and 1-hr post beverage consumption, venous occlusion plethysmography was used to measure the forearm blood flow (FBF) during baseline and post-ischemia (5 min) RH conditions. Whole blood [glucose] was determined via finger-stick samples with rapid glucometry.  Heart rate and blood pressure were monitored throughout the experiment.

Results: Despite significant elevations in blood glucose levels, there was no significant change in forearm blood flow at rest or during reactive hyperemia in any of the conditions (p=0.823).  Slight elevations in heart rate and mean arterial pressure were observed immediately following consumption of SSB.

Conclusions: The present findings indicated that young, healthy humans maintained microvascular function following acute consumption of a SSB.  Future studies should address whether the ability to maintain microvascular function following acute SSB consumption persists in at-risk populations as well as whether chronic SSB consumption can attenuate RH responses. Journal of Nature and Science (JNSCI), 4(2):e486, 2018

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