Hold my Diet Coke.
If you have been drinking Diet soda since you were 13 years old like me, take my hand. Look into my eyes. We may be in trouble.
Americans heavily drink diet sodas to avoid the sugary consumption of regular sodas and while many people argue that diet drinks and aspertame must be bad for you in some way, there has been little in the form of a conclusive study to verify that notion.
Unfortunately, in absolutely devastating, life-altering news, a new study published in the journal Stroke shows an association between diet soda and both stroke and dementia. Participants who drank diet soda daily were almost three times as likely to develop stroke and dementia as those who consumed it weekly or less.
Matthew Pase, a Boston University School of Medicine neurologist and the lead author of the study, did emphasize that the research does not “show causation,” but instead a correlation, but it does serve as a starting-point to suggest further research be done on the topic.
While nothing is conclusive — the “absolute numbers” that developed stroke and dementia are low — the study certainly suggests that we should at the very least be aware of possible risk when consuming diet soda.
The study tracked 2,888 people 45 and over for the development of a stroke and 1,484 people 60 and older for dementia over a 10 year period, and found that those who reported drinking at least one “artificially sweetened” drink a day compared to one or fewer a week were nearly three times as likely to have “ischemic stroke…2.89 times as likely to be diagnosed with dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease.”
Maybe I’ll cut down to drinking one pleasantly fizzy, ice-cold Diet Coke on the rocks a day. Maybe.
The study is available for download in its entirety here.