Diet Soda Can Increase Risk Of Dementia And Stroke Study Finds
The quest to trim waistlines using artificial sweeteners could be backfiring, as researchers found artificially sweetened drinks like diet soda can increase a person’s likelihood of stroke and dementia.
A study published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke found a daily diet soda puts a person at three times the risk of dementia and stroke compared to someone who drinks less than one a week.
It’s another blow to diet soda, which has been the subject of recent unflattering studies. Purdue University found in 2013 it doesn’t actually help us lose weight. Another;2007 study;discovered those who drink diet soda are no less at risk of heart disease than those who drink regular soda.
In fact, the Stroke study;found drinking sugary drinks such as soda and fruit juice, doesnt increase a person’s risk of stroke and dementia. Researchers caution that’s not a call to go buy sugary drinks, which;Harvard has linked;to type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
“Although we did not find an association between stroke or dementia and the consumption of sugary drinks, this certainly does not mean they are a healthy option,” explained Dr. Matthew Pase, study author and a senior fellow at the Boston University School of Medicine. “We recommend that people drink water on a regular basis instead of sugary or artificially sweetened beverages.”
Pase added the overall risk for dementia and stroke isn’t staggering.
Follow Sean Rossman on Twitter: @SeanRossman
What Do We Know About Diet And Prevention Of Alzheimer’s Disease
Can eating a specific food or following a particular diet help prevent or delay dementia caused by Alzheimers disease? Many studies suggest that what we eat affects the aging brains ability to think and remember. These findings have led to research on general eating patterns and whether they might make a difference.
The Mediterranean diet, the related MIND diet , and other healthy eating patterns have been associated with cognitive benefits in studies, though the evidence is not as strong as it is for other interventions like physical activity, blood pressure and cognitive training. Currently, researchers are more rigorously testing these diets to see if they can prevent or delay Alzheimers disease or age-related cognitive decline.
Diet Soda And Dementia: What You Need To Know
A recent study found that drinking even one diet soda a day may triple your risk for developing dementia. But there’s a lot more to the story. Nutrition Diva explains
A study published last week in the journal;Stroke;found that drinking even one can of diet soda a day;triples your risk of dementia. Not surprisingly, this caused quite an uproar.
Sharyn posted her concerns on the;:
I’m disturbed by a report I heard yesterday about a possible;link between artificial sweeteners and dementia. I’m reluctant to stop using artificial sweeteners on the basis of a single study. I’m in my 60’s and use artificial sweeteners daily. So sure, I’m concerned. Are there other studies that support this?
As a matter of fact, Sharyn, there;dont;seem to be any other studies linking artificial sweeteners to dementia. And I think your reluctance to change your behavior based on a single isolated finding is very reasonableespecially when we take a closer look at what this particular study actually found.
However, there may be other, more compelling arguments against daily consumption of artificial sweeteners. Ill get back to those in a moment. For now, lets take a look at what this most recent study does tell us about the relationship between artificial sweeteners and dementia risk.
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Does Drinking Diet Soda Raise The Risk Of A Stroke
- By , Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter
For diet soda fans, recent news reports linking these popular drinks to higher risk of stroke may have been alarming. A closer look at the study behind the headlines suggests theres no need to panic. But beverages naturally low in calories are probably a healthier option than artificially sweetened drinks.
The study included 2,888 people ages 45 and older from the long-running Framingham Heart Study, all of whom filled out diet questionnaires up to three times over a seven-year period. People who said they drank at least one artificially sweetened soda a day were about twice as likely to have a stroke over the following decade when compared to those who drank less than one a week. Drinking regular, sugar-sweetened sodas or beverages did not appear to raise stroke risk.
However, these types of studies cant prove cause and effect, only an association. Also, only 97;people had strokes during the follow-up, which means only two or three of those strokes could possibly be attributed to drinking diet soda, says Dr. Kathryn Rexrode, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Womens Hospital who co-authored an earlier, larger study looking at soda consumption and stroke risk.
Researchers Continue To Seek Answers
The idea of Alzheimers as a metabolic disease that affects the brain, and Alzheimers markers such as glucose metabolism, have led scientists in various directions. Besides the Mediterranean diet and its variations, they are looking at other diets as well as individual foods and nutrients.
For example, the ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that prompts the production of ketones, chemicals that help brain cells work. Studies show that this diet may affect gut bacteria in distinctive ways in people with and without cognitive impairment, and may help brain cells better use energy, improving their overall function.
Researchers are seeking answers to these questions:
- Which foods are critical to brain health and should be included in diet-based interventions?
- Which groups of people are most likely to benefit from dietary interventions targeting prevention of dementia and cognitive decline?
- Can dietary interventions introduced in midlife lead to better outcomes?
These clinical trials are recruiting participants to test dietary interventions:
To learn more or to find a trial near you, visit the Alzheimers.gov Clinical Trials Finder.
Diet Soda Dangers: Why I Gave It Up For Good
August 19, 2011 By Vanessa Rae Romero
Today, I am going to tell you about the dangers of diet soda and why I gave it up for good.;In Minnesota we call soft drinks pop. We stopped buying diet pop on our weekly grocery store trips a few years ago. However, I still imbibed in my favorite beverage when I was out and about. My daily habit has dwindled significantly in the recent past, but a 20 oz. bottle from the gas station found its way into my hands three to four times a week. I haven’t had a drink of diet pop since July 4, 2011.
In order to understand my position on this, I have to set the scene for you, by talking some science. But don’t worry; if you failed Human Biology like I did, as a freshman in college, I like to keep the explanations pretty basic. We are going to briefly explore the nervous system and then get right into the meat of the matter,;how diet pop affects our brain.
The Connection Between The Digestive System And The Brain
Researchers are learning how the biochemical processes of food intake and digestion interact with changes in the brain. They are finding that the gut microbiome the community of viruses, bacteria and other microbes in the digestive system may influence the onset and progression of Alzheimers disease.
Studies in mice and humans show that the composition of the gut microbiome in Alzheimers and mild cognitive impairment is different from that in cognitively normal beings.
Changes in the gut microbiome as people age have been linked to disruptions in the immune system, persistent inflammation and chronic diseases, including neurological disorders such as Alzheimers. Researchers are exploring how these changes are related to each other and to brain changes related to Alzheimers, including neurodegeneration and the accumulation of toxic proteins beta-amyloid and tau.
Identifying the good and bad gut microbes associated with Alzheimers could help scientists learn more about the biology of the disease and develop a new way to predict and potentially treat it.
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Diet Sodas Raise Risk Of Dementia And Stroke Study Finds
While the findings do not prove that diet drinks damage brains, they support other studies that show people who drink them frequently tend to have poorer health.
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.
Both sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened soft drinks may be hard on the brain.”
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 Alzheimers disease.
The team did not ask people which artificial sweetener they used. Some of those in the diet drinks were likely saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, or sucralose, the researchers said.
And other experts pointed out that sugary drinks are a major cause of obesity, diabetes, stroke and other ills.
And Americans have been encouraged to switch to diet drinks.
Diet Drinks And Dementia
Find out about the unclear association between artificially-sweetened beverages and dementia.
People who drink at least one artificially-sweetened beverage every day may have an increased risk of developing a stroke or dementia compared to those who drink them less than once a week, according to research carried out in Massachusetts.
The researchers reviewed what people were drinking at three different points in time over seven years. People reported their eating and drinking habits by completing questionnaires.
The researchers kept in touch with the same people for the next 10 years to see who developed a stroke or dementia. There was a link between developing dementia and drinking artificially-sweetened beverages, but not with drinking ones that had been sweetened with sugar.
Dr James Pickett, Head of Research at Alzheimers Society, said, This research does not show that artificially-sweetened drinks cause dementia. But it does highlight a worrying association that requires further investigation.
Research into dietary factors is very complex and there are a number of issues that need clarifying for example, why drinks sweetened with sugar were not associated with an increased risk in this study and teasing out links between all types of sugary drinks, diabetes and dementia.
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Incident Stroke And Dementia
We related beverage consumption to the 10-year risk of stroke and dementia. Surveillance commenced from examination cycle 7 to the time of incident event over a maximum of 10 years or until last known contact with the participant. We defined stroke as the rapid onset of focal neurological symptoms of presumed vascular origin, lasting >24 hours or resulting in death. A diagnosis of dementia was made in line with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition. A diagnosis of Alzheimerâs disease dementia was based on the criteria of the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke and the AD and Related Disorders Association for definite, probable, or possible AD. Please see the for complete details on our methods of surveillance, diagnosis, and case ascertainment.
Artificially Sweetened Beverages Linked To Dementia And Stroke
Boston University researchers prospectively evaluated the drinking habits of over 4000 healthy participants between 1998 and 2011. They tallied up everything participants drank including diet soda and sugar-laden soda. Then they calculated the risk of stroke for those over 45 and the risk of dementia if over 65. ;Their findings, published this week in the journal Stroke,;showed a risk of ischemic stroke , Alzheimers disease, and other dementias that increased with the amount of artificially sweetened soft drinks ingested. Even after correcting the findings for confounding factors such as age, sex, education, caloric intake, diet quality, physical activity and smoking, the diet soda-drinking men and women ended up getting Alzheimers disease 2.89 more times and stroke 2.96 more times when compared to those who did not.
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The 7 Worst Foods For Your Brain
Your brain is the most important organ in your body.
It keeps your heart beating, lungs breathing and all the systems in your body functioning.
Thats why its essential to keep your brain working in optimum condition with a healthy diet.
Some foods have negative effects on the brain, impacting your memory and mood and increasing your risk of dementia.
Estimates predict that dementia will affect more than 65 million people worldwide by 2030.
Luckily, you can help reduce your risk of the disease by cutting certain foods out of your diet.
This article reveals the 7 worst foods for your brain.
What Are The Risks
While diet soft drinks are safe, they provide no nutrients. In addition to diet soda, the ADA recommends drinking water, unsweetened iced, or hot tea, and sparkling or infused water, which similarly have no calories and few nutrients.
Although they contain carbohydrates, milk and 100 percent fruit juices can be wise choices when you consider the nutrients they provide. Be sure to limit fruit juices due to their high natural sugar content.
A 2000 study published in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine investigated the risks of drinking colas in youth.
The study found that drinking carbonated beverages was associated with bone fractures in teenage girls. Most of the girls drank regular sugar sweetened soda, while only 20 percent drank the diet version.
Although the same wasnt shown for boys, the study did raise concerns about replacing milk with soda during a critical time for bone development.
Diet soda consumption for adults only becomes problematic when the quantity consumed is very excessive. This can lead to higher intakes of caffeine if the beverages are caffeinated.
Replacing all water and dairy or 100 percent juice with diet soda in the diet can lead to missing essential nutrients.
The acceptable daily intake is the level of intake considered safe. For an adult weighing 150 pounds, the ADI is 20 twelve ounce soft drinks or 97 packets of no-calorie sweetener such as aspartame.
The negative press around aspartame is mostly based upon animal studies.
Diet Soda Dementia And Stroke
Boston University researcher Matthew Pase, PhD, and colleagues examined 10 years of health information from nearly 3,000 American adults over 45 to count the number who had a stroke. They did the same for nearly 1,500 American adults over 60 to determine how many developed dementia.
After accounting for a variety of things that could influence their health, such as age, physical activity, and waist size, the researchers found that diet soda drinkers nearly tripled their odds of stroke and dementia, compared with those who drank no diet soda.
Scary, right? Not necessarily, says Pase. Only 81, or 5%, of the people in the study were diagnosed with dementia, and only 97, or 3%, had a stroke.
At the end of the day, were talking about small numbers of people, says Pase. I dont think that people should be alarmed.
Pase also makes clear that his studys results, published in April in the journal Stroke, dont explain the link. Do diet sodas cause health problems like stroke and dementia? Or do people who have higher chances of getting such health problems choose to drink diet soda, perhaps to try to cut sugar and calories in their diets? Pase cant say.
Foods That Cause Dementia
Diet soda and other sugary beverages arent the only cause of dementia. There are other foods that cause dementia.
Beer: Beer contains;nitrites, which can cause Alzheimers disease.
Microwave popcorn:;It contains diacetyl. It is a chemical that may increase amyloid plaques in the brain.
White foods:;Foods like;white sugar, white rice, white bread, pasta, and cake cause a spike in insulin production and sends toxins to the brain.
Processed meats:;;Processed meat like bacon, smoked turkey, and ham contain;nitrosamines. They cause the liver to produce fats that are toxic to the brain.
Processed cheese:;Consuming processed cheese like mozzarella sticks, Cheez Whiz, and American cheese can cause;Alzheimers disease.
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A Diet Soda A Day Might Affect Dementia Risk Study Suggest
One or more artificially sweetened drinks a day was associated with higher risk of stroke and dementia, a new study suggests.
The research, published Thursday in the science journal Stroke, examined consumption of beverages sweetened with sugar and artificial sweeteners but did not find that same association with sugary beverages. The results, however, come with a host of caution flags raised by experts. They say the study does not even hint that regular sugary drinks;directly cause strokes or dementia.
The studys lead author said the observational study shows an association or trend in a group of people and not a direct cause-and-effect link. Its more hypothesis-generating.
The jury is still out, and this just shows people need to be cautious, said Matthew Pase, Ph.D., a fellow in the department of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine and an investigator at the Framingham Heart Study.
Previous studies have looked at artificial sweeteners impact on stroke risk. Pase believes this is the first study to look at its association with risk of dementia and he hopes the work will spur more research into the effects of these sweeteners on the brain.
Over seven years, researchers used food frequency questionnaires up to three different points in time. They then followed up for the next 10 years to determine who developed stroke and dementia.
But, Johnson said, there is a part of the issue that is settled science.