New study suggests diet soda might affect dementia risk


However, researchers found no link between sugary drinks and an increased risk of stroke and dementia, though they warned people not to view sugary drinks as a "healthy option".

Heather Snyder, senior director of medical and scientific operations at the Alzheimer's Association, called the new study "a piece of a larger puzzle" when it comes to better understanding how your diet and behaviors impact your brain.

The researchers found that 3 percent of the participants had suffered a stroke and 5 percent had developed dementia, most of which were cases of Alzheimer's disease.

For the first study, published in Alzheimer's & Dementia, researchers examined data, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and cognitive testing results, from about 4,000 people enrolled in the Framingham Heart Study's Offspring and Third-Generation cohorts.

For the study, participants filled in questionnaires on their food and drink intake at three points during the 1990s.

The team followed the subjects over the next 10 years to monitor the development of stroke and dementia.

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If you are habituated of consuming diet drinks every day this summer to quench your thirst, it is high time to discontinue the habit.

People who drink fruit juices and pop, even diet pop, could be at risk for poor memory, smaller brains and a higher risk of stroke or dementia.

"We know that sugary and artificially sweetened beverages are not great for us".

"There are many studies now suggesting detrimental effects of sugary beverages, but I think we also need to consider the possibility that diet drinks may not be healthy alternatives", Matthew P. Pase, Ph.D., Boston University School of Medicine, Massachusetts and study's lead author told the news outlet.

Bottom line is, more research-especially studies that can delve deeper into cause and effect-must be done before any definitive conclusions can be reached about artificial sweetener's effect on the brain.

"We recommend that people drink water on a regular basis instead of sugary or artificially sweetened beverages".

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Pase added, "Although we did not find an association between stroke or dementia and the consumption of sugary drinks, this certainly does not mean they are a healthy option".

The diet drinks industry is booming with low and no calorie drinks making up 45 per cent of all fizzy drinks sold in 2015, according to the British Soft Drinks Association.

However, experts have questioned the findings and say more work is needed to confirm any links.

"Both sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened soft drinks may be hard on the brain", Dr. Ralph Sacco, chairman of the neurology department at the University of Miami, and colleagues wrote in a commentary in the same journal.

However, an increasing number of studies are finding that artificially sweetened products are far from innocent. For example, people who more frequently consumed diet soda were also more likely to be diabetic, which is thought to increase the risk of dementia.

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