Stroke and dementia risk linked to artificial sweeteners, study suggests

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Stroke and dementia risk linked to artificial sweeteners, study suggests

Diet soft drinks are everywhere these days. You would be forgiven for thinking that they are good for you, after all they have the word diet, which means less sugar and/calories right? And isn’t less sugar better for you? Well not so fast. According to multiple studies drinking a can a day of low- or no-sugar soft drink is associated with a much higher risk of having a stroke or developing dementia.  

Their findings have prompted renewed questions about whether drinks flavoured with artificial sweeteners can increase the risk of serious illness, as heavily sugared drinks have already been shown to do. “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,” according to the American researchers who carried out a study published in Stroke, the journal of the American Heart Association. 

People who drink at least a can of “diet” drinks every day were 2.96 times more likely to suffer an ischaemic stroke and 2.89 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those who drank them less than once a week according to the study.  “This research does not show that artificially sweetened drinks cause dementia. But it does highlight a worrying association that requires further investigation,” said Dr James Pickett, head of research at Alzheimer’s Society.  

Further more, aspartame converts to formaldehyde in the body. “Aspartame ingestion results in the production of methanol, formaldehyde and formate. In the gastrointestinal tract aspartame is hydrolyzed to one of its component materials, methanol, as well as the two amino acids, phenylalanine and aspartic acid. This methanol is taken up by the cells of the body and metabolized first to formaldehyde and then to formate.”(2) While the levels of ingestion are modest with any given drink, repeatedly consuming aspartame will obviously result in more formaldehyde in the body.

As if an increased dementia risk isn’t bad enough, diet soft drinks have also been tied to a number of other health related issues. And it’s not just diet sodas you have to worry about, regular soda and fruit drinks are also bad, due to the high amounts of sugar.  

For instance diet soft drinks have been linked to depression. In one large study people who drank more than four cans or cups per day of soda were 30 percent more likely to develop depression than those who drank no soda. Those who drank four cans of fruit punch per day were about 38 percent more likely to develop depression than those who did not drink sweetened drinks. People who drank four cups of coffee per day were about 10 percent less likely to develop depression than those who drank no coffee. The risk appeared to be greater for people who drank diet than regular soda, diet than regular fruit punches and for diet than regular iced tea.  

Another study looked at the damaging effects of soda on kidney function. Drinking one diet soda daily did not decrease kidney function more than normal. Drinking two or more diet sodas, though, appeared to cause problems.  In fact, compared with women who did not drink diet soda, soda-drinking women had a 30% greater reduction in kidney function in 20 years.  

So next time you go out to eat, or hit the grocery store, maybe think twice about ordering that diet soda. Order a good old fashioned water (you probably don’t get enough anyway!). Your body will thank you in the future.  



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About Dr. Jenny:

Dr. Jenny is a Naturopathic Doctor and clinical research associate. She is a successful entrepreneur as the CEO/Proprietor of AgeVital Pharmacies in Sarasota, Florida. She is a charismatic media personality and television producer with regular appearances on ABC, NBC, TBN, CBS, the CW and up coming show on Lifetime. As a health and wellness expert and educator, Dr. Jenny lectures all around the world at various conferences about the endocannabinoid system and functional integrative healthcare and how natural solutions work to treat a multitude of disease and illness. She is currently authoring books about the endocannabinoid system for healthcare practitioners and consumers.
She is the President and Chairman of The American Academy of the Endocannabinoid System (AAECS) and sits on the Executive Board of Directors for the American Board of Medical Marijuana Physicians (ABMMP)Her expansive credentials include a Board Certification at The American Board of Anti-Aging Health Practitioners – (ABAAHP), a Diplomate of the AAIM College of Nutrition and a Board Certification with the (AAIM) Board of Integrative Medicine. Dr. Jenny is also a member of the American Academy Of Anti-Aging Medicine, serves as a senior business and financial advisor for Nuvusio and the medical director for Biom-Pharmaceuticals and Chief Scientific Officer And Medical Director for M3. 
*Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor.  The views and nutritional advice expressed by AgeVital Pharmacy are not intended to substitute for medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician or give us a call and schedule a consultation with one of our providers. ©AgeVital Pharmacy


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