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If you drink more than two diet soft drinks a day, you could be looking at a higher risk of heart attack, stroke and early death – particularly if you’re a woman over the age of 50, says the American Heart Association. Previous research has also shown that there’s a link between stroke, dementia, obesity, metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes and diet drinks, too.
“This is another confirmatory study showing a relationship between artificially sweetened beverages and vascular risks. While we cannot show causation, this is a yellow flag to pay attention to these findings,” said American Academy of Neurology President Dr. Ralph Sacco.
That’s an important distinction to make – that the increased risk is not necessarily due to the artificial sweeteners themselves. However, even after controlling for lifestyle factors, the study discovered that women who consumed two or more artificially sweetened beverages are:
- 31% more likely to have a clot-based stroke
- 29% more likely to have heart disease
- 16% more likely to die from other causes
The risks rise dramatically if the women who consume that number of diet drinks are obese or African-American.
Sacco says that the more studies that come up with similar results, the more likely it is that the association is directly linked to artificial sweeteners.
What Do You Think?
Do you drink diet soda, and do these results make you think twice about reaching for your favorite artificially sweetened beverage? I’d love to hear what you think, so please share your thoughts on my Facebook page or on Twitter.