‘DIET’ DRINKS MAY HAVE AN UNWANTED AFTER-EFFECT
For those with a sweet tooth, diet soft drink is generally thought of as a better alternative than sugar-laden versions.
But while lower in calories, guzzling artificially sweetened beverages could come at another cost. Experts have warned diet drinks could increase your risk of heart attack, stroke and even dementia.
Research this year revealed drinking two or more cans a day ups the risk of stroke by a quarter and heart disease by a third.
And compared with people who never touch them, the risk of early death is 16 per cent higher for diet drink guzzlers.
The findings published in the journal Stroke, were based on a big study of women and show those who are obese and downing diet drinks have more than double the risk of stroke.
Dr Yasmin Mossavar-rahmani, lead author of the study at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, stressed that their findings suggested a link but didn’t prove diet drinks caused stroke and heart problems.
Another study previously found a link between drinking artificially sweetened beverages and dementia. The US study claimed those who drank a can of artificially sweetened soft drink daily were 2.9 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s.
The team from Boston University School of Medicine also found it put people at three times the risk of the most common form of stroke compared to non-drinkers.
However, after accounting for all lifestyle factors, the researchers deemed the link to dementia statistically insignificant.
The impact on stroke risk remained, they said. But the findings, published back in 2017, were dismissed by some British authorities, while others have called for more investigation.
Scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital found the sweetener aspartame – found in some diet drinks – actually increases the risk of piling on the kilos. According to their report published online in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, this is because the sugar substitute’s breakdown product, phenylalanine, disrupts the metabolic rate and consequently ups the chances of weight gain.