Diet soda pop may be a guilty pleasure for some, but a new study is linking it to increased risks of dementia and stroke. The research only revealed a link to the heighten chances of these conditions and did not shed light on cause-and-effect. Additionally, no link was discovered between these illnesses and other sugary drinks such as fruit juices and sugar-sweetened pop.
CNN reported that the the research team reviewed numbers of over 2,800 adults 45 years plus, as well as over 1,400 adults 60 years and older. The figures came from Framingham, Massachusetts from a Framingham Heart Study via the Boston University and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Measurements around dementia took place in the 60+ group, while the 45+ group were analyzed for strokes.
The study team reviewed the number of sugary beverages and artificially-sweetened pop that the individuals in both groups consumed from 1991 to 2001. They reviewed how many individuals suffered from dementia and strokes over the decade.
When looking at those who consumed one a day, versus those who never touched artificially-sweetened pop, people who drank these beverages were close to three times likelier to develop ischemic stroke. Additionally, those who consumed at least one of these beverages daily were three times likelier to develop dementia.
Individuals who drank one to six of these beverages weekly were 2.6 times likelier to develop ischemic stroke, yet were not likelier to develop dementia.
Spokesperson for American Beverage Association chimed in on the study, releasing a statement saying that these artificial sweeteners have been deemed safe globally by safety authorities in the government.
Past research has revealed that a link between consumption and sugary-sweetened drinks do have negative health consequence on individuals, including: heart failure and disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
Alzheimer’s Association Senior Director of Medical and Scientific Operations also commented on the new research stating it offers insight on a larger puzzle as it relates to understanding how diet can affect one’s brain.