Artificially Sweetened Drinks Are Linked To Higher Stroke Risk

Bad news for soda lovers: Drinking two or more of any kind of artificially sweetened drinks a day is linked to an increase in clot-based strokes,heart attacks, and early death in women over 50.In a study published in the journal Stroke, researchers studied data from more than 81,000 post-menopausal women enrolled in the large population-based Women’s Health Initiative.

Three years into the study, the women answered questions about how many diet drinks including low-calorie sodas and fruit beverages with artificial sweeteners, they consumed in the past three months.After an average follow-up of nearly 12 years, the scientists found that women who drank two or more artificially sweetened drinks a day had a 23 percent higher risk of having any type of stroke, and a 31 percent increased risk of having a stroke due to clotting in brain blood vessels, compared to women who reporting drinking fewer than one beverage a week (or none at all).

While the results don’t directly tie diet drinks to strokes, the association raises alarms about how artificially sweeteners might be affecting the body.Not enough research has been done to provide definitive answers, but work in animals suggests that compounds like saccharin and aspartame may compromise the body’s ability to break down glucose properly, and impaired glucose control can lead to diabetes, a risk factor for heart disease and circulatory problems like stroke.T

he artificial sweeteners may be altering the bacteria living in the gut, which may disrupt the body’s ability to control glucose, This emerging research should be an alert for fans of diet drinks.

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