Background/objectives: Sucrose-sweetened soft drinks (SSSDs) are associated with the development of metabolic disorders. Fructose is a major component of SSSDs and is demonstrated to induce uric acid (UA) production and stimulate fat accumulation independent of excess caloric intake. UA induce insulin resistance and low-grade inflammation, suggesting that UA may have a causal role in the development of metabolic complications. The objective of this study is to investigate the long-term effects of consuming SSSDs on circulating levels of UA in overweight and obese subjects.
Subjects/methods: Using a previously published study, circulating UA levels were assessed at baseline and after 6 months using chromogenic enzymatic absorptiometry. The study included 47 overweight and obese subjects without diabetes, randomised to consume 1 l daily of either SSSD (regular cola), isocaloric semi-skimmed milk, diet cola or water for 6 months.
Results: Circulating UA levels increased ~15% (P = 0.02) after the 6-month intervention in the SSSD group with no change in the other groups. In the SSSD group, circulating UA levels increased significantly after the intervention in both absolute (P = 0.005) and relative values (P = 0.004). The change in UA after the intervention correlated with changes in liver fat (P = 0.005), triglycerides (P = 0.02) and insulin (P = 0.002).
Conclusions: In this secondary analysis daily intake of 1 l SSSD for 6 months was found to increase circulating UA levels compared with isocaloric milk, diet cola and water. Thus, a high daily intake of SSSDs in overweight and obese subjects without overt diabetes may increase the risk of developing metabolic complications through the elevation of UA. This trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov as NCT00777647.