“It’s too soon to tell people to change their behaviour based on this study; however, based on these and other findings we have a responsibility to do more research to see what is going on and further define the relationship, if one truly exists,” says
“It’s too soon to tell people to change their behaviour based on this study; however, based on these and other findings we have a responsibility to do more research to see what is going on and further define the relationship, if one truly exists. This could have major public health implications. This could have major public health implications.” ~ Dr. Ankur Vyas
This study demonstrated an association between diet soda and heart attacks and strokes, but is not able to say conclusively that the diet sodas were the cause behind the health conditions. The researchers said that further studies were required before people were advised to change their behaviour.
However, when we look at the body of evidence that is already available, the link seems to be more than a coincidence.
In a Harvard study spanning 11 years, research was conducted on 3,000 women. The results showed that diet soda was linked to a two-fold increased risk for decline in kidney function in women who drank more than two sodas per day. This decline in kidney function was not found in those that drank standard sugar-sweetened carbonated beverages – which suggests that the artificial sweeteners were the cause.
Research conducted by the University of Minnesota in 2008 assessed the impact of drinking one soda per day, and they measured 10,000 adults. The scientists found a connection between the consumption of just one soda each day and an increased risk of metabolic syndrome – by a whopping 34%. Metabolic Syndrome is linked to a number of risk factors for disease – including increased belly fat and raised cholesterol. Metabolic syndrome also raises the chances of developing diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Artificial sweeteners can also disrupt the body’s ability to regulate appetite and calorie intake, as it causes confusion with overly sweet non-calorie food. It can cause cravings for more sweet foods and may also lead to over-eating.
Two chemicals to be aware of are sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate. These are mould inhibitors that are found in the vast majority of diet sodas, but not in regular sugar-based sodas. They have been linked to a range of allergic conditions including asthma and have also been classified as mild irritants, particularly to the eyes and skin by the British Food Commission.
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