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June APSselect Research Highlights

Bethesda, Md. (June 7, 2016)—Research selected as part of the APSselect program is considered the month’s “best of the best” by the APS journals editors-in-chiefs. This month’s highlighted research includes a study on the consequences of rehydrating with soda and how chronic alcohol exposure can lead to pancreatic problems. Find all of this month’s selected articles on the APSselect website.

Rehydrating with Soda on a Hot Day May Worsen Dehydration
Rat study finds that soft drinks may increase dehydration and associated kidney injury

Repeated heat-related dehydration has been associated with increased risk of chronic kidney damage in mice. A new study in rats published in the American Journal of Physiology—Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology reports that drinking soft drinks to rehydrate worsened dehydration and kidney injury.

For four weeks, rats were exposed to mild heat-induced dehydration followed by access to water, water containing the fructose and glucose content of a typical soft drink, or water with stevia. Fructose and glucose, which are sugars that naturally occur in food, are added to soft drinks for sweetness. Stevia is a sugar substitute derived from a plant and has no calories.

Rats that drank the fructose-glucose water after repeated heat-induced dehydration were more dehydrated and had worse kidney injury than rats that drank plain water or water with stevia. “Our studies raise serious concerns for the common practice, especially among adolescents and young adults, to drink soft drinks as a means to quench thirst following an episode of dehydration,” the authors wrote.

Members of the research team are inventors on patent applications for drugs to prevent kidney injury by blocking fructose metabolism and have funding from Amway and Danone.

The article “Rehydration with soft drink-like beverages exacerbates dehydration and worsens dehydration-associated renal injury” is published in the American Journal of Physiology—Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.

Chronic Drinking Interferes with Absorption of Vitamin C by Pancreas

Alcohol-related pancreatic damage takes an average of 10 years of daily alcohol abuse to develop, and the risk of developing pancreatitis and other pancreatic diseases increases with the amount of alcohol consumed. To function properly, the cells of the pancreas require a number of vitamins, which they take from the blood stream. A new study in the American Journal of Physiology—Cell Physiology reports that chronic exposure to alcohol interferes with the pancreatic cells’ ability to absorb vitamin C.

The findings support previous studies that showed that chronic alcohol exposure prevented the absorption of biotin and thiamin, other vitamins important for pancreatic health.  Reducing the levels of vitamin C and other essential micronutrients will interfere with normal cellular activities in the pancreas and may predispose the body to pancreatitis and other pancreatic diseases, the authors wrote. For more details of the study, view the full release.

The article “Uptake of ascorbic acid by pancreatic acinar cells is negatively impacted by chronic alcohol exposure” is published in the American Journal of Physiology—Cell Physiology.

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: To schedule an interview with a member of the research team, please contact the APS Communications Office or 301-634-7209. Find more research highlights in the APS Press Room.

Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. Established in 1887, the American Physiological Society (APS) was the first U.S. society in the biomedical sciences field. The Society represents more than 10,500 members and publishes 15 peer-reviewed journals with a worldwide readership.