Apr 24, 2017 02:51 AM EDT
Diet sodas are prescriptions for stroke and dementia, according to a new study conducted by researchers from the School of Medicine of Boston University. The study shows that the consumption of a single can of diet soda every day increases the risk of stroke three times. People who consume these artificially-sweetened drinks are also at risk of developing Alzheimers or Dementia, although such risks are insignificant compared to the risk of suffering from a stroke.
Researchers studied the drinking habits of over 4,000 people for ten years and discovered that the word diet on a drink alone does not connote what it actually means, according to Fox News. On the contrary, drinking at least one diet soda daily puts one three times more at risk of experiencing stroke or dementia compared to those who do not drink the beverage as often. The study, published with the American Heart Association journal "Stroke", is the first one that reported the link between diet sodas and the risk of getting stroke and dementia. Dieters prefer beverages with artificial sweeteners because they do not have calories. However, these drinks make use of different sweeteners like Aspartame and Saccharine that are several times sweeter than sugar and can lead to type 2 diabetes.
"A lot of people assume they must be healthy choices because they are not sugared beverages, but the critical thing for people to understand is we don't have the evidence," Professor Susan Swithers of the Purdue University in the United States said.
Experts, however, cautioned consumers about interpreting the research findings, according to CNN. After all, it only focused on the association, but not the cause and effect relationship between diet sodas and health risks like stroke and dementia. Lead author Matthew Pase admitted more research has to be done to establish a direct connection on the intake of diet soda and its effects on the health.
In a statement, American Beverage Association spokeswoman Lauren Kane said government safety authorities all over the world including the World Health Organization have proven the safety of the low-calorie sweeteners used in diet sodas. She said the study conclusions has not proven a cause and effect relationship. The statement also indicated that the National Institutes of Health has identified many factors that can increase stroke and dementia including hypertension, genetics and age.
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