Diet drinks liked to stroke and dementia

Diet coke

"These studies are not the be-all and end-all, but it's strong data and a very strong suggestion", says Sudha Seshadri, a professor of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine (MED) and a faculty member at BU's Alzheimer's Disease Center, who is senior author on both papers.

For the study, the researchers used the data from the Framingham Heart Study (FHS).

However it's important to note that the study can not conclude that anyone who drinks diet fizzy drinks will develop dementia or have a stroke.

According to the Evening Standard, the participants filled out questionnaires noting their food and drink intake at three different points between the years 1990 and 2000.

“Its a tricky thing, ” said Gardner, who leads research into how people can optimize their diets. "Dementia is rare in people under the age of 60 and so we focused only on those aged over 60 years for dementia".

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.

The Eau Claire City-County Health Department says with that number on the rise the study shows why people should at least be cautious about regularly drinking either diet sodas or sugary beverages.

In an editorial accompanying the Stroke study, neurologists from the University of Miami and the University of Munster in Germany write that current research is inconclusive about whether diet beverages actually contribute to an increased risk of stroke, dementia, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

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.

This marked the first study to report any association between daily intake of artificially sweetened soft drinks and an increased risk in dementia. According to a study done by Boston University's School of Medicine in the United States, the researchers found that both sugar and artificially-sweetened beverage consumption has been linked to cardio-metabolic risk factors.

"While we respect the mission of these organizations to help prevent conditions like stroke and dementia, the authors of this study acknowledge that their conclusions do not - and can not - prove cause and effect, " the press release reads.

In a 2015 study, researchers found that risk for heart failure increases by 23 percent with daily consumption of at least two cans of diet soda and other artificially-sweetened beverages that fall under the diet drink category.

The research also found that regular consumption of sugary drinks, including fruit juices, were also associated with a poorer memory and overall smaller brain brain volumes.

"Even if someone is three times as likely to develop stroke or dementia, it is by no means a certain fate", Pase said. They also found other factors, such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes or high cholesterol might be to blame.

"Future studies will need to confirm these findings in other groups of people, and explore what might be underlying any link between artificially-sweetened soft drinks and dementia". Future studies are needed to test whether giving people artificial sweeteners causes adverse effects on the brain.

'Surely we should be trying to help consumers reduce their calorie intake, not presenting unproven claims?'

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