Kiwi dentists take stand on teaspoon sugary drink labels * Aspirin disappoints for avoiding first heart attack, stroke * A fizzy drink with your main meal could be making you fat - study * You know soda is bad for you.
Post-menopausal women who drink two or more diet beverages containing artificial sweetners a day appear to be at higher risk of strokes and heart disease compared with women who have less than one drink a week, scientists said on Thursday.
"This is another confirmatory study showing a relationship between artificially sweetened beverages and vascular risks", said Dr Ralph Sacco, president of the American Academy of Neurology. Obese women without previous heart disease or diabetes were two times more likely to have a clot-induced stroke, according to the study published in the journal Stroke. Just something to be aware of.
Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani, lead author of the study and...
- 16 percent more likely to die from any cause.
The authors stressed that the study found a link but could not prove that diet drinks cause stroke and heart problems. However, for some adults, diet drinks with low calorie sweeteners may be helpful as they transition to adopting water as their primary drink.
In a study that tracked almost 82,000 postmenopausal women, those who drank two or more diet drinks per day saw their overall stroke risk rise by 23 percent, compared with those who consumed diet drinks less than once a week.
More than 80,000 postmenopausal women took part in the Women's Health Initiative study, and they were asked how often they drink a 12-ounce serving of diet drinks over a three-month period.
Previous research has shown links between diet beverages and stroke, dementia, diabetes, and obesity. Dr. Mossavar-Rahmani however adds a small caveat saying that it is unclear whether diet drinks are directly causing these early deaths or there are other lifestyle and diet factors contributing to these numbers.
The research, described as among the first to probe the connection between artificially sweetened beverages and specific types of stroke, involved tracking the health of over 81,700 post-menopausal women aged between 50 and 79 years in the U.S. for over a decade. Only about 5 percent were found to be "heavy" consumers of artificially sweetened drinks.
However, the results in post-menopausal women may not be generalisable to men or younger women.
Dr Rachel Johnson, professor of nutrition emeritus at the University of Vermont and chairwoman of the writing group for the American Heart Association's science advisory, Low-Calorie Sweetened Beverages And Cardiometabolic Health, said: "Unfortunately, current research simply does not provide enough evidence to distinguish between the effects of different low-calorie sweeteners on heart and brain health".