Girls who drink more than one sugary drink a day are likely to start having periods sooner, say scientists. A new study of almost 6,000 adolescent girls links the consumption of sugary drinks to earlier menstruation.
The research found those drinking more than 1.5 sugar-sweetened beverages a day had their first period 2.7 months earlier than those consuming two a week or fewer. This happens because drinks with added sugar can lead to rapid ‘spikes’ of the hormone insulin. Boosted insulin can result in higher concentrations of sex hormones, and large changes in the levels of these have been linked to periods starting earlier, said the scientists.
The discovery is important as the risk of getting breast cancer later in life increases when periods start early. A one year reduction in age at first period is estimated to raise breast cancer risk by five per cent. The impact of bringing forward menarche by 2.7 months was likely to be ‘modest’ said the scientists.
US lead researcher Dr Karin Michels, from Harvard Medical School, said: «The main concern is about childhood obesity, but our study suggests that age of first menstruation occurred earlier, independently of body mass index, among girls with the highest consumption of drinks sweetened with added sugar».
Source: Daily Mail