Artificial sweeteners in diet beverages can be deadly according to a massive new study. Research indicates that drinking 2 or more diet drinks a day can lead to stroke, heart attack, diabetes, dementia and death, especially for women over the age of 50.
A new study published by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association links the consumption of artificial sweeteners to clot-based strokes, heart attacks and premature death in women over 50.
The study examined data from more than 81,000 women between the ages of 50-79, and tracked their health and lifestyle for a period of 12 years. One of the major findings is that women who consumed artificially sweetened beverages like diet soda, two or more times a day were:
- 31% more likely to have a clot-based stroke
- 29% more likely to have heart disease
- 16% more likely to die from any cause
than those participants who consumed them less than once a week or not at all. Factors such as age, high blood pressure and smoking were factored in to the results.
The common thread in the diseases appears to be the vascular system, but researchers say the research cannot show cause and effect and it's impossible to pinpoint a specific artificial sweetener, beverage or any other hidden health issues.
The lead author of the study Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani, an associate professor of clinical epidemiology and population health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York said "What is it about these diet drinks? Is it something about the sweeteners? Are they doing something to our gut health and metabolism? These are questions we need answered."
This isn't the first study to investigate the association between diet soda and disease. A 2017 study of 2,800+ adults over 45 years old discovered that participants who drank at least one diet soda daily were three times as likely to develop stroke and dementia as those who drank it once a week or not at all.
Americans drink roughly 3 billion gallons of diet soda annually according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation.