Diet Soda Could Mean a Higher Risk of Dementia and Strokes

Diet soda drinkers enjoyed a period where their preferred beverage was seen as superior and more healthy than its sugar-laden counterpart, but those times have come to an end.

The dangers of artificial sweeteners are more widely known nowadays, meaning consumers must ask themselves if any kind of cola is worth the risk. New research from the American Heart Association (AHA) even shows that no-calorie sodas contribute to higher risks for strokes and dementia.

A recent study published in the AHA’s journal Stroke highlights found links to these startling health conditions after following over 4,000 participants for a period of ten years. They surveyed their eating and drinking habits over a seven year span and documented which ended up having strokes or developing dementia. Sadly, the researchers found that participants who drank just one diet soda every day were three times more likely to develop these conditions, even with controls for possibly confounding factors like age, intake of calories and having a gene with a known link to Alzheimer’s disease.

At the same time this study was released, another was published by the same researchers regarding the effects of regular, sugary soda on health. The findings, published in the Alzheimer’s Association’s journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia, showed how drinking one sugary drink each day also suggested links to early dementia symptoms, such as poor memory test performance.

Related: You Can Quit Sugar in Six Weeks

There is no doubt that reducing (or eliminating) your intake of these cloyingly sweet beverages is good for your health. Artificial sweeteners have been linked to obesity, diabetes, pregnancy complications and now significant effects on the brain. The reasons to stop drinking the stuff continue to mount, yet many people still have difficulty kicking the habit.

While replacing sugary-sweet drinks with water can seem unappetizing to some, it is one of the best and most simple ways to hydrate the body. We all need water to survive! A glass of water can be made more interesting with slices of fruit or a dash of fruit juice, making it taste better than plain old water. There are also more ways than ever to make fizzy beverages, if a carbonation fix is what you’re after. Many of these types of drinks can be made at home, as well, saving tons of money on drinks throughout the years.

What techniques helped you the most while cutting back on soda?

Related: 
How to Stay Hydrated When You Don’t Like Water
9 Disturbing Side Effects of Soda
How to Make Your Own Healthy Soda

Photo credit: Thinkstock

61 comments

Marie W
Marie W1 years ago

Thanks for sharing

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Telica R
Telica R1 years ago

Thanks for sharing

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Melania P
Melania P1 years ago

Thank you!

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Jerome S
Jerome S2 years ago

thanks

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Jim V
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for sharing.

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Jim V
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S2 years ago

thanks for sharing.

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rosario p
rosario p.2 years ago

Carbonation may be not a great idea.
Carbon dioxide present in these drinks increases acidification of gastric juices and accelerates their production which in turn accelerates digestion but at the same time causes gastroesophageal reflux, acidity and absorption problems, which can be especially painful in people Who suffer from gastritis and stomach ulcers.

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Jetana A
Jetana A2 years ago

The first sugar-free sodas were "sweetened" with saccharine, which tasted bad to me. Then I became macrobiotic in college, so NO sodas. Later, I drank "natural" sodas, mostly ginger ale. Now, only mineral water with lemon and a splash of coconut water, the most refreshing of all. Don't drink poison!

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Janet B
Janet B2 years ago

Thanks

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