Published: Sat, April 22, 2017
Health Care | By Jeffery Armstrong

Daily Diet Drink Consumption May Increase Risk Of Dementia

Daily Diet Drink Consumption May Increase Risk Of Dementia

Importantly, no studies have shown an actual cause-and-effect relationship between consumption of artificially-sweetened drinks and increased risk for a negative health outcome. The results, however, come with a host of caution flags raised by experts. The latest report from the Framingham Heart Study found that people who frequently drink sodas and fruit juices are more likely to have a poorer memory and less brain volume.

The artificial sweeteners consumed by those in the study included saccharin, acesulfame-K, and aspartame.

Those in the stroke arm of the study were over the age of 45, while those in the dementia arm were over 60.

The study also found that diet soda cosumers were twice more likely than other people to suffer from the particular type of dementia caused by Alzheimer's disease.

The participants recorded their eating and drinking habits in questionnaires and they were then followed up after 10 years.

"In our community-based cohort, higher consumption of artificially sweetened soft drink was associated with an increased risk of both stroke and dementia", the study read.

He added: "Even if someone is three times as likely to develop stroke or dementia, it is by no means a certain fate". However, they found that people who drank at least one diet soda per day were nearly three times as likely to develop stroke and dementia.

Responded William Dermody Jr., vice president of policy at the American Beverage Association, the chief lobby for soda makers: "The Alzheimer's Association points out that the greatest risk factors for Alzheimer's are increasing age, family history of Alzheimer's, and genetics-not sugar intake, from any source".

Pase noted that the risks are still low and people who love their daily fix of diet soda do not need to panic.

The researchers controlled for several other risk factors, including age, sex, caloric intake, education, diabetes, and the presence of genetic risk factors for Alzheimer's.

According to Medscape Medical News, the research is purely observational therefore researchers can't present cause and effect in the study. They were also almost three times as likely to receive an Alzheimer's diagnosis, too. "This, in turn, is a risk factor for stroke", Pase said. "America's beverage companies support and encourage balanced lifestyles by providing people with a range of beverage choices -- with and without calories and sugar -- so they can choose the beverage that is right for them". The results align with earlier research done with smaller samples, including one with 737 middle-aged participants in the Boston Puerto Rican Health Study, which found that higher sugar intake was cross-sectionally associated with Alzheimer's-like behavioral patterns.

Sacco was a co-author of an editorial published alongside the study in the journal Stroke on Thursday.

The scientists said sugary drinks shouldn't be seen as a "healthier option" to full-fat versions - and urged people to switch to water or unsweetened drinks instead.

"While we respect the mission of these organizations to help prevent conditions like stroke and dementia, the authors of this study acknowledge that their conclusions do not - and can not - prove cause and effect", the American Beverage Association added.

The other study found that diet drinks aren't a whole lot better.

"I know that when we first focused our data on artificial sweetened beverages and stroke risk few years back, I stopped drinking them", he said.

The team did not ask people which artificial sweetener they used.

Like this: