Any celebrity-approved, anti-aging, book-penning dermatologist will tell you that sugar is bad for your skin. Say no to dessert for a few joyless weeks and your face will appear brighter, springier, clearer. According to Dr. Harold Lancer, dermatologist to Kim Kardashian, Beyoncé and so forth, sugar breaks down collagen and can weaken the immune system, allowing bacteria to build up in your pores. It also triggers testosterone production, which, in turn, makes pores larger and skin oilier. That said, air pollution, UV exposure, inflammatory foods, stress and lack of sleep are all far worse for your skin than the occasional cupcake, so everything in moderation, right?
Well, a new study conducted by scientists in Britain again drags sugar through the dirt. According to the researchers, consuming sweetened drinks on a regular basis may reduce women’s likelihood of getting pregnant.
Scientists analyzed the eating and drinking habits of 524 patients undergoing IVF treatment. Regular consumption of artificial sweeteners via Diet Coke, coffee and the like was linked to lower fertility rates. Meanwhile, an affinity for regular ol’ sugary beverages was associated with poorer quality eggs and embryos, which can reduce one’s chances of getting pregnant.
The silver lining: Unsweetened coffee did not appear to affect egg quality or fertility rates.
Professor Adam Balen, Chairman of the British Fertility Society, attested, “This is a very interesting study that suggests the false promise of artificial sweeteners that are found in soft drinks, and added to drinks such as coffee, may have a significant effect on the quality and fertility of woman’s eggs and this may further impact on the chances of conception. These findings are highly significant to our population. There should be more scrutiny of food additives and better information available to the public and, in particular, those wishing to conceive.”
However, experts like Colin Berry, Emeritus Professor of Pathology at Queen Mary University London, noted that the experience of IVF patients couldn’t be readily applied to that of the overall population since you are dealing with a very select sample. In addition, it’s unclear whether it was artificial sweetener and sugar consumption or the women’s correlated body weight that caused their heightened reproductive issues.
Either way, the lesson remains the same: don’t be greedy, and when you do indulge, spring for the artisanal.
[ via The Telegraph ]