Sweetened Beverages Like Diet Soda May Increase Risk Of Stroke, Dementia, Study Reveals

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Apr 21, 2017 11:18 AM EDT

Consumption of one can or more diet soda per day are three times more likely to induce both stroke and dementia.
(Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Safety of diet soda was put into question since new study link sweetened beverages to both stroke and dementia. People who drink one can or more diet soda per day are three times more likely to suffer from the conditions, the researchers found.

According to Medscape Medical News, the research is purely observational therefore researchers can't present cause and effect in the study. But since diet drinks, which are sweetened beverages are famous, further research should be conducted to find a solid proof as per the researchers.

"There are many studies now suggesting detrimental effects of sugary beverages, but I think we also need to consider the possibility that diet drinks may not be healthy alternatives," Matthew P. Pase, Ph.D., Boston University School of Medicine, Massachusetts and study’s lead author told the news outlet.

According to the study published online in Stroke on April 20, sweetened beverages and stroke or dementia risk has no connection. However, authors of the research noted that this finding doesn’t support the safety of sugary drinks.

"There are many other studies suggesting harmful effects of sugar-sweetened drinks, and we did not have large enough numbers of people consuming sugary drinks in our current study for reliable information on this," Dr. Pase said.

Both sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened drinks are linked to the decrease of brain volume in a middle-aged group, same researchers found in a separate study. The sweetened beverages, including soda and fruit juice, were as well discovered in the brain's cross-sectional evaluation to be connected with serious episodic memory. The researchers then concluded that high consumption of total sweetened beverages, fruit juice, and soft drinks were all link with the qualities of preclinical Alzheimer's disease.

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. However, neither of them is hinting that people should avoid sugary drinks to reduce their risk of stroke or dementia, he added.

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