Are Sweetened Drinks Hard on the Brain?
Artificially sweetened beverages are supposed to be a healthy alternative to sugar sweetened drinks. However, a new study suggest a link to cerebrovascular disease and dementia. A Prospective Cohort Study by Stroke Journal of the Amercian Heart Association examined whether sugar or artificially sweetened beverage consumption was associated with the prospective risks of incident stroke or dementia in the community based Framingham Heart Study Offspring cohort.
The studies involves 2888 participants aged above 45 years for incident stroke and 1484 participants aged above 60 years for incident dementia. Beverage intake was quantified using a food-frequency questionnaire at cohort examinations.
Surveillance for incident events commenced at examination and continued for 10 years. A total of 97 cases of incident stroke and 81 cases of incident dementia were observed during the studies.
The shocking results show a higher cumulative intake of artificially sweetened soft drinks were associated with an increased risk of stroke, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease dementia. Surprisingly, sugar sweetened beverages were found to be not associated with stroke or dementia
The study concluded that artificially sweetened soft drink consumption was associated with a higher risk of stroke and dementia.
The Stroke Journal Study may cause a rethink among those worried about obesity, diabetes or a possible early heart attack, who had switched from sugar sweetened beverages to artificially sweetened beverages. This alarming conclusion may put people off to switch back to their old habbit of consuming their favourite sugar sweetened drink.
Many people are not aware that artificial sweeteners can also cause a dangerous addiction — an addiction to overly sweet foods. They retrain the taste buds to need more and more, sweeter and sweeter foods. This leads to even greater incidences of obesity, diabetes, kidney damage and so much more.
However, regular consumption of sweetened beverages can lead to weight gain and health problems, including cancer. World Health Organisation recommends reducing the intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake.
The work by Stroke Journal Study encourages further discussion and more research to be done. Both sugar sweetened and artificially sweetened soft drinks may be hard on the brain.
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