High Intake of Diet Sodas Linked to Higher Risk of Dementia, Stroke

Apr 21, 2017 07:52 AM EDT

A new study from Boston University School of Medicine (MED) revealed that drinking diet sodas in a daily basis can have a negative impact on mental health.

The study, published in the journal Stroke, showed that people drinking at least one diet soda per day are almost three times more likely to be diagnosed with dementia and experience ischemic stroke compared to those who did not.

"We have little data on the health effects of diet drinks and this is problematic because diet drinks are popular amongst the general population," said Matthew Pase, a fellow at MED's Neurology Department and corresponding author of the study, in a report from CNN.

For the study, the researchers used the data from the Framingham Heart Study (FHS). The study involves about 2,888 people over 45 and 1,484 people older than 60. The researchers measured the participants' beverage intake at three points over seven years. Then, they monitored the volunteers for 10 years, looking for evidence of stroke in participants over the age of 45 and signs of dementia in participants older than 60. Stroke is rare in people aged below 45 years old. Similarly, dementia is rare in people younger than 60 years old.

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The researchers observed that people who consumed at least one diet soda per day were three times more likely to be diagnosed with dementia or experience ischemic stroke, caused by blocked blood vessels, compared to those who did not. Surprisingly, there is not much of a difference in the risk of dementia between people who drinks one diet soda per day and those who consumed one to six diet sodas a day. However, people who consumed one to six diet sodas daily were 2.6 time more likely to experience an ischemic stroke.

Their findings only showed a link between daily consumption of diet sodas and increased likelihood of stroke and dementia. The researchers noted that their study did not determine actual cause and effect relationship between diet sodas and increased risk of stroke and dementia.

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