News

Diet soft drinks linked to dementia

Just one diet drink a day can triple the risk of a deadly stroke, a study suggests
Just one diet drink a day can triple the risk of a deadly stroke, a study suggests

IF YOU'RE partial to a can of Pepsi Max at lunch, or enjoy a splash of Coke Zero with your favourite rum - you might want to put that drink back on ice.

According to a new study, just one diet drink a day can triple the risk of a deadly stroke, with researchers also finding the beverages have a "worrying association" with dementia.

The team of researchers from Boston's University School of Medicine, said people who consume a can of artificially-sweetened soft drink a day were at three times the risk of suffering the most common form of stroke compared to non-drinkers.

The US study also indicated that diet soft drink fans were 2.9 times more likely to develop Alzheimer's. But after accounting for all lifestyle factors, the researchers found the link to dementia was statistically insignificant, however, the impact on stroke risk remained.

The study, which looked at ten years' worth of data from more than 4,300 people, indicates that people need to look beyond the word 'diet' when making drink choices.

"Drinking at least one artificially sweetened beverage daily was associated with almost three times the risk of developing stroke or dementia compared to those who drank artificially sweetened beverages less than once a week," the research read, which was published in Stroke, the journal of the American Heart Association.

"After adjustments for age, sex, education (for analysis of dementia), calorific intake, diet quality, physical activity and smoking, higher recent and higher cumulative intake of artificially sweetened soft drinks were associated with an increased risk of ischaemic stroke, all-cause dementia and Alzheimer's disease dementia."

"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," the co-authors added.

THE PROBLEM WITH THE 'NO CALORIES' TRADEOFF:

Diet drinks contain next-to-no calories, because they use artificial sweeteners that are hundreds, sometimes thousands of times sweeter than sugar.

There is public concern about some sweeteners, with scientists across the world arguing that low-calorie substitutes may lead to weight gain and increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

"A lot of people assume they must be healthy choices because they are not sugared beverages, but the critical thing for people to understand is we don't have the evidence," Prof Susan Swithers, from the US's Purdue University told the BBC.

Typically, the different types of sweeteners used in diet drinks range from Aspartame, Saccharine and Stevia.

Aspartame is the sweetener most used in diet drinks, and is also the most controversial.

At 200 times sweeter than sugar, it is used right across the world as a sugar substitute, including cereal, chewing gum and lollies.

"Diet drinks, despite having zero sugar and hardly any calories, actually taste far sweeter than regular soft-drinks," nutritionist Kristen Beck told news.com.au.

"The problem is that the human brain aren't set up to be able to deal with the

intensely-sweet, zero-calorie version of sweetness that artificial sweeteners provide."

Humans are set up to crave and seek out sweet foods, and when they eat something sweet,

the brain responds to sweetness with signals to eat more.

"Artificial sweeteners provide an intensely sweet taste without any calories which can actually cause you to crave more sweet foods and drinks," Ms Beck said.

"In turn, the sweetness drive you to eat more kilojoules from sweet foods and drinks than you normally would.

"While sugar signals a positive feeling of reward, artificial sweeteners may not be an

effective way to manage a craving for sweets.

"Artificial sweeteners trigger insulin, which sends your body into fat storage mode and leads to weight gain," Brooke Alpert, author of The Sugar Detox said.

According to Prof. Swithers, ingesting sweeteners also obstructs the way the body deals with real sugar when it's consumed again.

"We think the diet sodas may be bad because they make it hard to deal with the sugar you are consuming," she said.

"When the animals get real sugar they're not as good at processing it, their hormonal responses get blunted, their blood sugar levels go up and it leads to weight gain."

News Corp Australia

Topics:  editors picks



Alstonville remembers sacrifices and service personnel

RSM Sid Lewis, 91, met Victor Hobday, 5, at the Alstonville Anzac Day ceremony.

"Anzac Day is not for us, it's those of us who are not here”

Ballina: Next generation honours military tradition

(L-R) TS Lismore Navy Cadets, Jessica Hobson, Geoffrey Tapping, Hayden Smith, Brandon Eyears, Jayden Webb and Lachlan Miller at the Ballina Anzac Day dawn service. April 25, 2017.

'They can't just...stand up there. They work very hard to get there'

Homage to Anzacs 'topped off' with two-up

Woodenbong's Anzac Day commemorations.

Woodenbong comes together to remember our Anzacs

Local Partners

Homage to Anzacs 'topped off' with two-up

ANZAC songs and tales of the bombing of Darwin and Broome ... provided us a small glimpse into the horrors of the First World War.


Teeing off for some great careers

Leanne Clarkson of Mid Richmond Education Fund, Jim Perry and John Mayes of the Evans Head Golden Oldies and Jim Perkins of the Woodburn-Evans Head Golf Club are ready for the charity golf day.

Did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?

Get your requests in for next year's C'weath Games tix

GC2018 have released ticketing and event schedules with one year to go until Games' time

The race is on for tickets to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games

Music For a Warming World in Tintenbar

Music for a Warming World is coming to Tintebar Hall.

Music and peer-reviewed science mix in one gig

Madonna biopic in the works

MADONNA’S life as a rising pop star in New York in the early 1980s is set to be documented in a new biopic titled Blonde Ambition

Billionaire Elon Musk and Amber Heard hit Shingle Inn

Amber Heard and Elon Musk enjoy a bite to eat at the Shingle Inn, Broadbeach.

Actor Amber Heard and billionaire Elon Musk are enjoying Qld

New Netflix doco on JonBenet Ramsay's death makes huge claim

A new documentary will air claims that child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsay was murdered by a paedo sex ring.

New claims that JonBenet Ramsay was killed by a paedophile sex ring

Movie review: Guardians Of the Galaxy Vol. 2 delivers on all fronts

Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and Drax (Dave Bautista) in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2.

Does Guardians Vol. 2 live up to high expectations set by original?

Sir Elton John hospitalised with rare infection

CROCODILE ROCKER: Sir Elton John will head to Mackay in September for the first stop of his Australian tour.

Elton John cancels shows after becoming violently ill.

GALLERY: Guilty Pleasures coming to Brunswick Heads

FIRST: Miss Bettie Bombshell is part of the line up for the upcoming Guilty Pleasures Cabaret and Burlesque Festival

Three-day cabaret and burlesque festival

Sunshine Coast singers out to turn chairs on The Voice

NEXT BIG THING? Tune in to see Glasshouse Mountains folk artist Benjamin James Caldwell on The Voice.

Do our Coast folk singers have what it takes to turn judges' chairs?

Lisa Curry and fiance sell up Sunshine Coast property

I'm a Celebrity, Get me Out of Here! contestant Lisa Curry with partner Mark Tabone after being evicted from the South African jungle. Picture: Dylan Robinson ***EMBARGOED 7:30pm March 9th***

Plans for dream home on hold at Mount Mellum place on market

SOLD: Iconic M'boro pub set to be transformed

Shane Muller from Maryborough Motorcycles will be opening up a showroom and café at the Shamrock Hotel.

The Shamrock Hotel is set to be transformed in the next two months.

Want to own iconic North Coast pub?

The Beach Hotel, Byron Bay.

This rare piece of Byron Bay is now looking for a new owner

A few home truths when purchasing

THINK AHEAD: Buying a property is likely to be one of the biggest financial commitments most people will make in their life.

Buying your first property can be exciting but also quite daunting.

Coast developer looks to prime real estate's future

MANY OPTIONS: Sunshine Coast developer Graeme Juniper is considering what to do with a prime piece of real estate he owns on Radical Bay on Magnetic Island, near Townsville.

Radical Bay is World Environment Heritage-listed.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!