dglobalnews.com Boston University Researchers Find Diet Drinks Risk Stroke, Dementia
Published: Sat, April 22, 2017
Tech | By Arthur Brown

Boston University Researchers Find Diet Drinks Risk Stroke, Dementia

Boston University Researchers Find Diet Drinks Risk Stroke, Dementia

Pase said that they did find other health factors associated with those who regularly consumed sugar-sweetened beverages, such as accelerated brain aging and low memory function.

They also found people who drank at least one artificially-sweetened beverage a day were nearly three times as likely to have an ischemic stroke (the most common type), and 2.9 times as likely to develop Alzheimer's disease dementia.

But even after excluding diabetics from the study, diet soda consumption was still associated with the risk of dementia.

He cautioned that the association between artificially sweetened drinks and stroke and dementia seen in their study does not imply causation - a point emphasized by Marion Nestle, PhD, professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University, who wasn't involved in the study.

The team did not ask people which artificial sweetener they used. The risk of developing dementia was found 2.9 times higher, the study team reported. They may have fewer calories but a new USA study has found having just one diet drink a day is possibly linked with both a higher risk of having a stroke and developing dementia.

Excess sugar has always been associated with cardiovascular and metabolic diseases like obesity, heart disease and Type-2 diabetes, but little is known about its long-term effects on the human brain.

Diet drinks account for a quarter market of the total sweetened beverages. That would make diet soda a marker of a high-risk person, rather that an independent causal risk factor for stroke or dementia, according to researchers in an accompanying editorial in Stroke.

Yet another study showed that artificial sweeteners alter bacteria in the gut, which might also have a negative effect, Pase said.

Because diabetics drink more diet soda than the general population, the authors say that the disease may partially explain the increase in dementia rates-but not completely.

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About one out of every five Americans drink diet sodas. In particular, the volume of the hippocampal area of the brain (which is important for memory) was reduced by excessive consumption of sugary drinks.

"Your intake of soda and diet soda and other beverages is part of a greater pattern".

The two studies must be taken as warning signs, Keith Fargo, Ph.D., director of scientific programs and outreach at the Alzheimer's Association, said.

Pase noted that the risks are still low and people who love their daily fix of diet soda do not need to panic. ABA further notes that, "According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), many risk factors can increase an individual's likelihood of developing stroke and dementia including age, hypertension, diabetes and genetics".

Among the study participants tracked during the study, there were 97 cases (3 percent) of stroke, 82 of which were ischemic (caused by blockage of blood vessels), and 81 (5 percent) cases of dementia, 63 of which were diagnosed as Alzheimer's disease.

"You have got to pay close attention and be diligent about dietary habits, exercise habits, controlling your blood pressure".

He added "Nobody ever said diet sodas were a health food". His group has recommendations online at alz.org/10ways.

Now, studies have shown even worse potential perils to consuming artificially flavored drinks. While they may help people avoid more unsafe sugary sodas, studies show they don't help people lose weight.

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