Could diet soda and artificial sweeteners cause dementia and strokes?

Boston University researchers found aspartame a low-calorie sweetener wreaks havoc on the arteries- as opposed to sugar-sweetened drinks- driving up one's risk of dementia

Boston University researchers found aspartame a low-calorie sweetener wreaks havoc on the arteries- as opposed to sugar-sweetened drinks- driving up one's risk of dementia

The study however only found an association between the two, and did not determine a cause-and-effect relationship between drinking artificially sweetened drinks and increased chances of stroke and dementia.

For its stroke analysis, the seven-year study looked at the beverage intake of 2,888 Framingham Heart Study participants older than 45 years old.

"We do find higher incidents of diabetes and people being overweight in people drinking those artificially sweetened beverages", Zaso says.

There is little data on the health effects of diet drinks, which are popular among the general population, according to Matthew Pase, a senior research fellow in the department of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine and lead author of the new study.

Pase said they discovered that people drinking diet soda were about three times would likely develop stroke and dementia.

A new study has scientists wondering if artificially sweetened beverages can cause strokes and dementia.

Beverages like sugar-sweetened sodas, fruit juice and fruit drinks showed no connection to the aforementioned health risks.

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Ralph Sacco, a co-author of the study, released an editorial published alongside the study in the journal Stroke on Thursday, saying that both ASBs and SSBs are "hard on the brain".

Researchers suggest this shows why people should at least be cautious about regularly consuming either diet sodas or sugary beverages. The more sugary drinks a participant used on a daily basis, the more pronounced was the correlation.

According to a study of 4,372 adults by Boston University, diet fizzy drinks are more likely to cause strokes and dementia than sugary alternatives. "This included a higher risk of ischemic stroke, where blood vessels in the brain become obstructed and Alzheimer's disease dementia, the most common form of dementia", Pase added.

It's nothing new that diet fizzy drinks aren't good for us, but a new study has confirmed just how unhealthy they are.

That study also found participants who drank at least one diet soda per day were more likely to have smaller brain volume. Ischaemic strokes occur when blood can not get to the brain because of a blockage, often one caused by a blood clot forming in either an artery leading to the brain or inside a vein in the brain itself. They also mentioned that the observational design of the study precluded them from making causal links between artificially sweetened beverage consumption and the risks of stroke and dementia.

The researchers then followed these people for the next 10 years to see who had a stroke or developed dementia and compared that with the information they'd provided about their soft drink consumption.

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