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The #1 Drink You Should ALWAYS Avoid – Triples Your Dementia & Stroke Risk (How & Why)!

By on May 3, 2017
Drinking artificially sweetened beverages could now increase your risk of two health problems, say researchers.

The study, which appears in the peer-reviewed journal Stroke, explains that drinking artificially sweetened beverages, such as diet soda, can triple the risk of stroke of dementia over a 10-year period. It didn’t take much to increase this risk either–just one can per day, according to researchers.

Matthew P. Pase, lead author of the study, says the study shows that diet beverages, although low calorie, aren’t exactly a healthy alternative.

“There are many studies now suggesting detrimental effects of sugary beverages, but I think we also need to consider the possibility that diet drinks may not be healthy alternatives,” says Pase, a researcher at the Boston University School of Medicine in Massachusetts. “We can’t show cause and effect in this study as it is observational in design, but given the popularity of diet drinks we desperately need more research on this question.”

The Research

In the study, researchers drew data from the Framingham Heart Study Offspring cohort, analyzing more than 4,300 adults over the age of 45. To help with the analysis, the participants were separated in groups based on their age. Certain age groups face a higher risk of stroke or dementia.

Examining food intake questionnaires they filled out, researchers looked at how often they consumed artificially sweetened beverages between 1991 to 2001. They also examined any reported incidences of stroke or dementia during this time period. 97 cases of stroke and 81 cases of dementia were reported at this time.

After adjusting for age, sex, and other lifestyle habits, they found that drinking these beverages had a significant influence on both stroke and dementia. Just even a small amount, equaling one can per day, nearly tripled this risk–a risk that, oddly enough, did not increase among those who opted for sugar sweetened beverages. This indicates that the type of sweetener used may influence this risk.

For researchers, this is an outcome they have observed too many times before.

“Animal studies have shown that rats given artificial sweeteners gain weight more than rats given an identical diet without artificial sweeteners,” says Pase. “These artificial sweeteners have also been linked to a change in the composition of gut bacteria and the development of glucose intolerance. There is some data on this in humans too, but it is much more difficult in humans to show cause and effect.”

What This Means For You

While Pase continues to emphasize that the findings don’t establish a cause-and-effect relationship, there is still plenty of evidence to suggest its effects are maladaptive. As previous findings have also linked artificially sweetened beverages with obesity and other chronic diseases, it’s safe to say drinking these beverages just isn’t a good idea.

Your best bet? Limit your intake now; or, if it’s possible, quit cold turkey.

Readers: How often do you drink these types of beverages?

Sources:
Diet Drinks Linked to Increased Stroke and Dementia RiskMedscape.com
Sugar- and Artificially Sweetened Beverages and the Risks of Incident Stroke and Dementia (Study)AHAJournals.org

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