— by Jeff Jurmain, MA
There are lots of things that determine the rate at which your body ages, and two of the biggest factors are what you choose to eat, and what you elect to wash it down with.
Brand new research has identified one substance that might play a role in the aging process. It is phosphate, a compound that is not organic, which is found in high levels in soda and processed foods. Researchers have found evidence that it accelerates the aging process and contributes to age-related problems such as kidney disease.
It’s yet another strike against soda and processed foods. The research shows that phosphates may add more “pop” to these two than once thought. Phosphates may accelerate signs of aging you can see, and those you can’t see, like the cardiovascular system becoming calcified (plaque building up in arteries) and muscles slowly deteriorating.
A healthy diet is of critical importance, and now it seems that keeping a balance of phosphate in the diet may be important for a healthy life and longevity. The rule that has emerged: avoid phosphate toxicity to enjoy a healthier life.
The study, it should be noted, was done with mice, where most preliminary studies begin. The results will undoubtedly be applied to humans in the not-too-distant future. Researchers examined the effects of high phosphate levels in three groups of mice. The first group was genetically predisposed to having toxic levels of phosphate — they lived eight to 15 weeks. The second group was missing the same gene, as well as a second gene, which actually lowered the amount of phosphate in their bodies. These mice lived to 20 weeks. The third group of mice was also missing the two genes, but were fed a high-phosphate diet — all died by 15 weeks.
What it shows is that phosphate has toxic effects, and such effects may extend to humans. The researchers write that soda is the “caffeine delivery vehicle of choice” for millions of people, but it comes with “phosphorous as a passenger.” This link will be explored further, but, in the meantime, for those concerned with growing older and the conditions that come with it, electing not to drink soda and eating wholesome foods would be youthful decisions.