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Does Diet Soda Cause Dementia

Both Sugary And Diet Drinks Correlated With Accelerated Brain Aging

New Study Suggests Diet Sodas Cause Dementia – MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center

Americans love sugar. Together we consumed nearly 11 million metric tons of it in 2016, according to the US Department of Agriculture, much of it in the form of sugar-sweetened beverages like sports drinks and soda.

Now, new research suggests that excess sugarespecially the fructose in sugary drinksmight damage your brain. Researchers using data from the Framingham Heart Study found that people who drink sugary beverages frequently are more likely to have poorer memory, smaller overall brain volume, and a significantly smaller hippocampusan area of the brain important for learning and memory.

But before you chuck your sweet tea and reach for a diet soda, theres more: a follow-up study found that people who drank diet soda daily were almost three times as likely to develop stroke and dementia when compared to those who did not.

Researchers are quick to point out that these findings, which appear separately in the journals Alzheimers & Dementia and Stroke, demonstrate correlation but not cause-and-effect. While researchers caution against over-consuming either diet soda or sugary drinks, more research is needed to determine howor ifthese drinks actually damage the brain, and how much damage may be caused by underlying vascular disease or diabetes.

Maybe good old-fashioned water is something we need to get used to, she adds.

Aspartame Causes Dementia Stroke Brain Tumors

It all started in the 1960s by a company called G.D. Searle.; It was made by accident while trying to create a product for stomach ulcers.; Rushed through the FDA by dubious testing standards to gain approval, it later generated the first criminal investigation of a manufacturer ever by the FDA in 1977, after severe health issues started to arise.; By 1980 Aspartame was banned by the FDA after three independent scientists studied the product and found it unsafe .; In 1981 the new FDA commissioner Arthur Hayes Hull Jr. decided to review the product again with a 5-person panel, which affirmed the ban on Aspartame with a 3-2 vote.; Hull then decided to appoint a 6th member to create a tie.; Hull then decided to personally break the tie and open it up to commercial use.; In 1985 Monsanto purchased the rights to Aspartame from G.D. Searle.

Since a Aspartame molecule is made of about 10% methanol, it is released into the body within hours of consumption.; The main issue with Methanol is that is easily passes through the blood brain barrier and once there, it is converted into formaldehyde, which is what causes the brain damage.; It was also determined that one of the amino acids found in Aspartame are capable of crossing the blood brain barrier, creating a cellular overstimulation called excitotoxicity which can lead to cellular death.

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.

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Does Diet Soda Increase Dementia Risk New Study Says Yes And Stroke Too

Say no to diet soda; yes to brain healthy almond milk.

Most nutrition experts recommend avoiding beverages with artificial sweeteners. First, although these drinks, such as diet soda, are marketed for weight loss, they dont help people lose weight. In fact, they have been shown to cause weight gain by making the brain crave more sugar. Second, those artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose are chemicals that may be harmful or even carcinogenic. But what about the risk of dementia and stroke? Researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine have found a correlation between drinking artificially sweetened beverages and the risks of both dementia and stroke.

Diet Soda Associated With Increase In Dementia And Stroke Study Finds

Does diet soda cause strokes and dementia?

Rhonna Shatz, DO, following a presentation at an educational symposium.

Just when you thought there were no more dietary pitfalls to worry about, a study published in the journal Stroke has found an association between artificially sweetened soft drinks and an increased risk of ischemic stroke, Alzheimers disease and non-Alzheimers dementia. The study tracked more than 4,000 middle-aged adults all participants in the Framingham Heart Study over a 10-year period.

Rhonna Shatz, DO, director of the Memory Disorders Center at the University of Cincinnati Gardner Neuroscience Institute, finds the study intriguing. Here is her response:

The study identifies correlations between diet soda consumption and a slightly increased risk for dementia and less so with stroke, she says. The correlations initially identified were lowered when they factored in diabetes; those who drank diet sodas were more likely to be diabetics, and this could explain the increased risk. Correlative data still does not identify cause and effect, so the jury is still out on this.

Other large studies have found data both conflicting and in agreement with this study. The mechanism underlying the observation is still elusive as well.

In short, this is an intriguing finding that now needs more fine-tuned prospective investigation and more targeted research directed at mechanism.

In the meantime, Shatz says, Drink water.

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Soda May Increase Your Risk Of Stroke

Approximately 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke each year, and the condition accounts for 1 in 6 deaths related to cardiovascular disease in the U.S. Unfortunately, drinking either diet or traditionally-sweetened soda on a regular basis can increase your risk of this often-fatal condition.

According to the aforementioned study published in Stroke, individuals who regularly drank diet soda had nearly triple the risk of stroke compared to study participants who drank none.

Additionally, a 2020 study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that consumption of one or more sugar-sweetened beverages a day may increase a persons risk of stroke by as much as 21%.

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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

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Is Diet Soda Harming Your Brain Health

Switching out sugary soda for a sugar-free alternative sounds like an easy way to cut calories, but if you saw a study published in Stroke;last week, you may be wondering if you made a mistake. Researchers found that older adults who regularly drank artificially sweetened beverages, such as diet soda, were about three times more likely to have a stroke or develop Alzheimer’s disease over 10 years, painting a worrying picture for anyone who regularly enjoys diet soda.

The findings may sound alarming, but the research paints a more nuanced picture. The results come from the Framingham Heart Study, a long-term observational study of people living in Framingham, Massachusetts. From 1991-2001, participants were asked questions about their health and diet. Then, over the following 10 years, the researchers tracked the patients’ health, allowing them to cross-reference data and identify associationsincluding how many people who regularly consumed diet soda developed Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s also important to note that participants were asked about the quality of their diets and lifestyle before the study began, but not in the follow up. And researchers didn’t ask about other factors known to influence health, such as socioeconomic status.

  • Suez J, Korem T, Zeevi D et al. Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota. Nature 514, 181-186.
  • Get the latest brain health news:

    Why Some Foods Induce Memory Loss

    New study suggests diet soda increases risk of dementia, stroke

    The brain needs its own brand of fuel. It requires healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and adequate vitamins and minerals. Consuming too little of these foods and too many complex carbohydrates, processed foods and sugar stimulates the production of toxins in the body. Those toxins can lead to inflammation, the build-up of plaques in the brain and, as a result, impaired cognitive function.

    These effects apply to people of all ages, not just seniors.

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    Artificial Sweeteners: Other Shortcomings

    Another conundrum: researchers dont have any plausible explanation for why artificial sweeteners might increase stroke risk. Still, there may be other reasons to ditch them.

    If you use artificial sweeteners to control your weight, you should know that the support for that strategy is pretty shaky. Some evidence suggests that artificial sweeteners make people crave sugary, high-calorie foods, thereby negating the sweeteners potential to cut your overall calorie intake. And some experts believe that people who use these high-intensity sweeteners may come to find naturally sweet foods, such as fruit, less appealing and less-sweet foods, such as vegetables, downright unpalatable. If so, those people might be missing out on the many heart-protecting nutrients found in fresh, natural foods.

    But Dr. Rexrode isnt a stickler when it comes to diet soda. I encourage my patients to eliminate regular soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks to avoid empty calories, she says. But if someone says they cant do without a Coke in the morning to wake up, Ill encourage them to switch to coffee or diet Coke. Water is an even better choice, however. There are a lot of ways to make it more appealing, both visually and taste-wise. she adds. Try flavoring flat or sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice, or add frozen fruit, cucumber, or crushed mint.

    Diet Sodas Tied To Dementia And Stroke

    A new study links diet soft drinks to an increased risk for stroke and dementia.

    Researchers studied more than 4,000 people over 45 who had filled out food-frequency questionnaires and had periodic health examinations between 1991 and 2001. The scientists tracked their health over the next 10 years and found 97 cases of stroke and 81 cases of dementia.

    The study, in the journal Stroke, found that compared with those who did not drink diet soda, people who drank one to six artificially sweetened drinks a week had twice the risk of stroke. There were similar, although weaker, associations for dementia risk. The reasons for the link remain unknown.

    The study adjusted for age, sex, education, physical activity, diabetes, smoking and many other characteristics that might affect the risks. But the senior author, Dr. Sudha Seshadri, a professor of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine, said that there were additional variables the study could not address. For example, she said, people might have switched to diet soda because they already had cardiovascular problems.

    Still, she added, there are health benefits associated with some drinks, like tea or coffee, but not with soda of any kind, either diet or not.

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    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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    Reasons To Think Twice About Diet Soda

    Reason #1: Artificial sweeteners may increase your risk of diabetes.;This is pretty ironic becauseas I just mentionedpeople with diabetes often choose artificial sweeteners in order to reduce their consumption of sugar. Although the sweeteners themselves dont cause an increase in your blood sugar, research has found that they may impair your bodys ability to process carbohydrates from other foods you eat.

    You can read more about this research in episode #390 Do Artificial Sweeteners Promote Diabetes?

    As I explained in that show, having a;diet soda;with your meal is not the same as;having water;with your meal. Even though both have zero sugar and calories, your blood sugar is likely to be higher after the meal with the diet soda. Over time, those higher blood sugar and insulin spikes can increase your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, as well as lead to weight gain.

    Could Artificial Sweeteners Be Bad For Your Brain

    Follow me on Twitter @RobShmerling

    Sometimes it seems like people trying to choose a healthy diet and watch their weight cant catch a break.

    Past studies have linked the consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks with cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and obesity. So its easy to understand the appeal of diet soft drinks and other artificially sweetened beverages. If you drink two cans of Coke per day, switching to diet sodas could reduce your calorie intake by 8,400 calories each month. As long as you dont add in new sources of calories, over time that could add up to some serious loss of excess weight.

    But now, a study has raised the possibility that artificial sweeteners in diet beverages may increase the risk of dementia and stroke.

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    What Did The Researchers Find

    This study looked at the relationship between both sugar-sweetened and artificially-sweetened beverages and the incidence of strokes and dementia. It tracked ~4,000 people from Massachusetts from 1991 until 2014 to see how many sugar-sweetened drinks and artificially-sweetened drinks each person drank, along with how many individuals were diagnosed with strokes or dementia.

    Because factors such as smoking, lack of physical activity, and excess caloric intake could increase the risk of having a stroke or developing dementia, the researchers adjusted for these covariates.

    The headline-grabbing result was pretty stark: people with a cumulative intake of more than one artificially-sweetened beverage per day were 2.96 times more likely to be at risk for an ischemic stroke and 2.89 times more likely to be at risk for developing dementia, compared to people who did not drink any sweetened beverages. Those who drank sugar-sweetened beverages didnt see an increased risk.

    After following ~4,000 people over fourteen years, researchers found that people who consumed more than one artificially-sweetened beverage per day were around three times more likely to experience an ischemic stroke or dementia, while sugar-sweetened beverage drinkers didnt have an increased risk.

    Foods That Induce Memory Loss

    Diet soda risks

    Unfortunately, the foods that hamper memory are common staples in the American diet. White breads, pasta, processed meats and cheeses, all of these have been linked to Alzheimers disease. Some experts have even found that whole grain breads are as bad as white breads because they spike blood sugar, which causes inflammation.

    Heres a list of foods linked to increased rates of Alzheimers disease:

    • Processed cheeses, including American cheese, mozzarella sticks, Cheez Whiz and Laughing Cow. These foods build up proteins in the body that have been associated with Alzheimers.
    • Processed meats, such as bacon, smoked turkey from the deli counter and ham. Smoked meats like these contain nitrosamines, which cause the liver to produce fats that are toxic to the brain.
    • Beer. Most beers contain nitrites, which have been linked to Alzheimers.
    • White foods, including pasta, cakes, white sugar, white rice and white bread. Consuming these causes a spike in insulin production and sends toxins to the brain.
    • Microwave popcorn contains diacetyl, a chemical that may increase amyloid plaques in the brain. Research has linked a buildup of amyloid plaques to Alzheimers disease.

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