NBC research findings link diet drinks to dementia and stroke

Just about every week, it seems, a new study warns of another potential health risk linked to soft drinks.

People who drink diet sodas daily have three times the risk of stroke and dementia compared to people who rarely drink them, researchers reported.

The researchers, led by Matthew Pase of the Boston University School of Medicine and colleagues, studied more than 4,000 people for their report, published in the journal Stroke.

“We found that those people who were consuming diet soda on a daily basis were three times as likely to develop both stroke and dementia within the next 10 years as compared to those who did not consume diet soda,” Pase told NBC News.

“Our study provides further evidence to link consumption of artificially sweetened beverages with the risk of stroke,” the team wrote.

“To our knowledge, our study is the first to report an association between daily intake of artificially sweetened soft drink and an increased risk of both all-cause dementia and dementia because of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Dr. Ralph Sacco, a former president of the American Heart Association,  chairman of the neurology department at the University of Miami, and colleagues found women who drank diet sodas had a higher risk of stroke, heart attack and other types of heart death.

7 Side effects of drinking diet sodas may convince you to stop drinking them immediately according to Prevention.

  1. Kidney problems.  An 11-year study conducted by Harvard Medical School of 3,000 women who drank diet sodas saw kidney decline.  Researchers found those who drank sugary sodas did not have the decline.  Researchers blame diet sweeteners for the cause.
  2. Metabolism affected.  In 2008 the University of Minnesota conducted a study of 10,000 adults.  The people who drank only one diet soda a day began to have signs of metabolic syndrome (belly fat associated with higher cholesterol) that put them at a higher risk for heart disease.
  3. Obesity.  A study at the University of Texas Health Science center concluded that people who drank diet sodas, gained weight.  Why?  Diet sweeteners disrupt the body’s ability to regulate caloric intake based on the sweetness of food–thus, one eats more craving the thought of sugar.
  4. A terrible hangover.  A study conducted by Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia found that people who mixed alcohol with diet mixers became intoxicated faster.  Sugar-free mixers allow the alcohol to enter the bloodstream much faster.
  5. Cell damage.  Diet drinks contain mold inhibitors.  The names are sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate and according to the UK Food exchange are also associated with irritants to eyes, skin, and mucus membranes.
  6. Rotting teeth.  With a pH of 3.2, diet drinks are very acidic.  Diet soda drinkers have more filling, rotting teeth, and gum problems according to a study conducted by the University of Michigan.
  7. Reproductive issues.  The cans of sodas are coated with a (BPA) endocrine disruptor bisphenol A which is associated with heart disease, obesity, and reproductive problems.

There is a lot of risk taking for one can of soda.  It’s yet another piece of evidence that diet drinks are not a healthy alternative to sugary drinks, and suggests that people need to limit both, doctors said.  Studies show people who drink diet drinks frequently tend to have poorer health.  Other experts pointed out that sugary drinks are a major cause of obesity, diabetes, stroke and other ills. Water is always a good option, doctors agree. And of course, there’s coffee. Studies show that people who drink regular, moderate amounts of coffee are less likely to die from a range of diseases, from diabetes to heart disease.


Image courtesy of ABC News.com


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