Diet Soda May Increase Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

Are you a diet soda drinker? You may want to rethink your choice of beverage. A recent study suggests that drinking artificially sweetened drinks may lead to a higher risk of stroke or Alzheimer’s disease.

A summary of the study published by the American Heart Association (AHA) said that “those who reported consuming at least one artificially sweetened drink a day, compared to less than one a week, were 2.96 times as likely to have an ischemic stroke, caused by blood vessel blockage, and 2.89 times as likely to be diagnosed with dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease.”

Though the risk seems relatively low, and the study itself is “described only as a hypothesis” requiring more research, people should ere on the side of caution.

Christopher Gardner, the director of Nutrition Studies at the Stanford Prevention Research Center said, “…have more water and have less diet soda, and don’t switch to real soda.”

Sugary drinks “have been associated not only with obesity and its consequences, such as diabetes, but with poorer memory and smaller overall brain volumes.”

According to the HelpGuide.org publication “Eating Well as You Age,” cutting down on sugar is important because too much of it “can cause mood swings and wreck any healthy diet.”

Considering that one can of regular soda contains 10-12 teaspoons of sugar and 150 calories with no nutrient value, why drink it at all?

The Alzheimer’s Association cautions, “poor nutrition may increase behavioral symptoms” in people with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Instead of drinking all that sugar, or a diet drink with artificial sweeteners, opt for a healthier choice, like sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice. As a caretaker for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, avoiding empty sugar calories is good for both of you.