Consumption of sugary soft drinks has been associated with an increased risk of health problems such as overweight or obesity, type 2 diabetes, early menstruation and poor semen quality. Now, to this are added the findings of a new study indicating that consuming one or more of these drinks every day reduces all chances of pregnancy.
There is an association among the habit of drinking one or more sugary drinks a day (by either partner) and a decrease in fertility, even after considering other factors, which could influence conception such as obesity, consumption of alcohol, caffeine or tobacco, and the type of food.
Researchers used data from the Pregnancy Study Online (PRESTO), and selected 3,828 women between the ages of 21 and 45 in the United States or Canada, and 1,045 of their male partners. All of them completed questionnaires in which they provided information about medical histories, their life and dieting habits, including sugary soft drinks consumption. All women also answered specific questionnaires every two months during 12 months, or until they were pregnant.
Results indicated a relation between consumption of sugary soft drinks in both sexes with a reduction of 20% in monthly average of probabilities of fertilization. In women, taking one of these drinks every day reduced fertility by 25%, and this very same consumption was associated with a 33% reduction in fertilization capability in men.
Consumption of energy drinks also was associated with a greater decrease in fertility, although they warn that these findings are based on a small number of consumers, while the association with a reduction in the possibilities of conceiving was lower amongst participants who ingested fruit juices or light refreshments.
Considering all results, Dr Elizabeth Hatch, a scientist who conducted the study, has advised couples who are planning a future pregnancy to consider limiting consumption of this type of beverage, especially taking into account that its frequent consumption has also been linked to other adverse effects on people’s health.