A spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down, but it can also lead to fatal health problems.

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According to a new study, too much added sugar in a person's diet can double the risk of dying from heart disease.

Dr. Devi Nampiaparampil, from the NYU School of Medicine, discussed the expansive study on Happening Now.

In the past, experts thought sugar was bad because it contributed to problems like high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes that lead to heart disease.

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This study showed that sugar consumption can directly put you at risk for heart disease. Dr. Nampiaparampil said, “Sugar by itself could cause inflammation in the arteries that go to the heart.”

She explained that sugar may also activate genes that are harmful, such as genes related to obesity.

The study also found that the sugar-intake threshold is fairly low. Just 25 percent, or 500 calories from sugar, out of a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet is all it can take for heart problems to arise. “If you have that amount, you could actually double your risk of dying of heart disease,” the doctor said.

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