Consumption of caffeinated and artificially sweetened soft drinks is associated with risk of early menarche.Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Sep; 102(3):648-54.AJ
Early menarche has been linked to risk of several chronic diseases. Prospective research on whether the intake of soft drinks containing caffeine, a modulator of the female reproductive axis, is associated with risk of early menarche is sparse.
We examined the hypothesis that consumption of caffeinated soft drinks in childhood is associated with higher risk of early menarche.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Growth and Health Study recruited and enrolled 2379 (1213 African American, 1166 Caucasian) girls aged 9-10 y (from Richmond, CA; Cincinnati, OH; and Washington, DC) and followed them for 10 y. After exclusions were made, there were 1988 girls in whom we examined prospective associations between consumption of caffeinated and noncaffeinated sugar- and artificially sweetened soft drinks and early menarche (defined as menarche age <11 y). We also examined associations between intakes of caffeine, sucrose, fructose, and aspartame and early menarche.
Incident early menarche occurred in 165 (8.3%) of the girls. After adjustment for confounders and premenarcheal percentage body fat, greater consumption of caffeinated soft drinks was associated with a higher risk of early menarche (RR for 1 serving/d increment: 1.47; 95% CI: 1.22, 1.79). Consumption of artificially sweetened soft drinks was also positively associated with risk of early menarche (RR for 1 serving/d increment: 1.43; 95% CI: 1.08, 1.88). Consumption of noncaffeinated soft drinks was not significantly associated with early menarche (RR for 1 serving/d increment: 0.88; 95% CI: 0.62, 1.25); nor was consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks (RR for 1 serving/d increment: 1.15; 95% CI: 0.95, 1.39). Consistent with the beverage findings, intakes of caffeine (RR for 1-SD increment: 1.22; 95% CI: 1.08, 1.37) and aspartame (RR for 1-SD increment: 1.20; 95% CI: 1.10, 1.31) were positively associated with risk of early menarche.
Consumption of caffeinated and artificially sweetened soft drinks was positively associated with risk of early menarche in a US cohort of African American and Caucasian girls.