Why Is Diet Soda So Bad For Your Brain?
Health & Beauty / /
There were some researches launched in the recent years on the effect soda drinks have on the brain. Results aren’t surprising and the findings are fairly consistent: consuming too much of anything with excessive sugar, especially high-fructose forms of sugar can have negative health consequences, including the brain health.
Among the studies that have dealt with this problem was the study published in the journal Stroke, which showed a correlation between consuming diet soda and both dementia and stroke, and namely: people who consumed diet soda every day were three times as likely to develop dementia or have a stroke compared to those who avoided the beverages.
"Artificially sweetened soft drink consumption was associated with a higher risk of stroke and dementia."
However, there were several limitations of the study that should be noted. First, it was a cohort study searching for correlations between behaviors and health outcomes. In such cases, it’s difficult to isolate particular factors and at the same time is impossible to take into account every possible factor, so such results are doomed to fuzziness. Another thing is that the study was focused on older adults, so it is hard to say if the results necessarily apply to a larger population across age groups. It is also possible that certain conditions, like diabetes, had developed during the study and affected the results.
Why might diet sodas contribute to the risks of stroke and dementia is not yet sure, although there are some theories out there, including:
Diet sodas are designed to trick the brain into thinking it’s getting an extra dose of glucose (the brain’s fuel), but eventually, the trick is on us because the brain adapts to not receiving the added glucose by overcompensating in other ways.
Diet sodas could also imbalance the microbiome in our guts causing unpredictable results. So, the above-mentioned theory might actually tell us a much bigger story, bearing in mind that bacteria are constantly moving from gut to brain, which we know interacts with key neurotransmitters.
It is hard to draw solid conclusions from this study, but the results definitely say that there is something worth considering. As for the end, curtailing how much of any artificial sweetener you take is a reasonable position to take.