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Diet Sodas Could Increase Risk of Stroke and Dementia

Diet Sodas Could Increase Risk of Stroke and Dementia

Boston, Massachusetts- Diet sodas increase the risk of stroke and dementia by three times, compared to people who rarely drink them according to research.

Evidently, diet drinks are not a healthy alternative to sugary drinks, and suggests that people need to limit both and substitute with water, doctors said.

While the findings do not prove that diet drinks damage brains, they support other studies that show people who drink them frequently tend to have poorer health.

The researchers, led by Matthew Pase of the Boston University School of Medicine and colleagues, studied more than 4,000 people for their report, published in the journal Stroke.

To their surprise, the team did not find the same risk for sugar-sweetened beverages. But they found that those who more frequently consume sugary drinks such as fruit juices and sodas had greater evidence of accelerated brain damage. This includes overall smaller brain volumes, poorer memory function and smaller hippocampus. In addition, other experts conclude that sugary drinks are a major cause of obesity, stroke, diabetes and otehr illnesses.

The researchers accounted for age, sex, education, overall how many calories people ate, diet quality, physical activity, and smoking. Most of the participants where white and affluent, however, and the team notes there may be others things that are also different about people who drink diet sodas.

Many drink diet sodas to avoid obesity and diabetes- both of which can raise the risk of stroke and dementia.

People's food and drink intake is a part of a greater pattern; there is no simple relationship.

They note that even though the risk of those drinking diet sodas to develop stroke or dimentia is three times greater, it is not a certain fate. This is still a small number, as in the study, three percent of the people had a new stroke and five percent developed dementia.

The study does not look at the specific mechanism for how diet drinks may damage the brain.

Doctors recommend drinking plenty of water. Furthermore, studies show that regular moderate amount of coffee intake can lower the chance of developing a range of diseases, from diabetes to heart disease.


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