Study: Diet soda may be linked to higher risk of stroke and dementia, more research needed


A new study showed that diet soda may be linked to a higher risk of stroke and dementia.

The study that was published in the American Heart Association's Journal looked at diet sodas and other artificially sweetened drinks. The study already has its critics though. Researchers that prepared the study have admitted they could not find an actual cause-an-effect relationship between the two.

"Our study shows a need to put more research into this area given how often people drink artificially-sweetened beverages,” said Matthew Pase, Ph.D., a senior fellow in the department of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine, Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, and the Framingham Heart Study. “Although we did not find an association between stroke or dementia and the consumption of sugary drinks, this certainly does not mean they are a healthy option. We recommend that people drink water on a regular basis instead of sugary or artificially sweetened beverages.”

In the American Heart Association Journal's report, the researchers made it clear that more research was needed.

“We know that limiting added sugars is an important strategy to support good nutrition and healthy body weights, and until we know more, people should use artificially sweetened drinks cautiously. They may have a role for people with diabetes and in weight loss, but we encourage people to drink water, low-fat milk or other beverages without added sweeteners,” said Rachel K. Johnson, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., past chair of the American Heart Association’s Nutrition Committee and professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont.

More information on the study can be found here on the American Heart Association's website.

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