Daily Diet Soda May Take Toll on Your Brain

Study suggests an increased risk of stroke and dementia
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2017 1:20 PM CDT
A Diet Soda a Day May Raise Dementia Risk
Researchers caution more research is needed.   (AP Photo/Candice Choi)

Diet soda might help with the waistline, but a new study suggests it's bad for the brain. Researchers in Massachusetts found that those who drank at least one artificially sweetened beverage per day were about three times as likely to experience a stroke or dementia compared to those who did so less than once a week, reports the Guardian. Specifically, daily diet soda drinkers were 2.96 times more likely to experience an ischaemic stroke and 2.89 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s, per the study in the American Heart Association journal Stroke. The study was based on questionnaires filled out by more than 4,300 adults as part of the Framingham Heart Study at Boston University.

“To our knowledge, our study is the first to report an association between daily intake of artificially sweetened soft drink and increased risk of both all-cause dementia and dementia because of Alzheimer’s disease,” write the co-authors. They emphasized that they found just an association, not a causal link, and say more research is necessary to expound on the results. But the author of an editorial accompanying the study says it suggests that artificial sweeteners could do damage to the brain "through a vascular pathway," per CNN. (One columnist thinks diet soda has been unfairly vilified.)

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