Diet Soda Linked to Poor Health

Friday, July 1, 2011

Pass it on: A new study links the consumption of diet soda to poorer health

I've never been much soda drinker and especially not diet soda except for an occasional Fresca.  Over the years, I've watched clients time and time again drink calorie free soft drinks and struggle to lose or maintain weight as much as they would as much as if they were gulping down regular sugary drinks.  I never knew why it worked like this or really had any science to back it up. I just figured soda is full of unnatural chemicals so you can't expect your body to react in a natural way to something that is unnatural.

Two new studies on the topic of diet cola were presented June 25th 2011 at the meeting of the American Diabetes Association. Both studies have linked drinking diet soda to poorer health compared with those who don't drink the beverage. People who said they drank two or more diet sodas a day experienced waist size increases that were six times greater than those of people who didn't drink diet soda, according to researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

A second study that found the sweetener aspartame raised blood sugar levels in diabetes-prone mice."Data from this and other prospective studies suggest that the promotion of diet sodas and artificial sweeteners as healthy alternatives may be ill-advised," said study researcher Helen P. Hazuda, professor and at the university's school of medicine. "They may be free of calories, but not of consequences."

The human study was based on data from 474 participants in a larger, ongoing study called the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging. In that study, the participants were followed for nearly 10 years. Diet soft drink drinkers, as a group, experienced 70 percent greater increases in waist circumference compared with those who don't drink diet soda. Abdominal fat is a major risk factor for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and other chronic conditions, the researchers said.

In the mouse study, researchers fed aspartame, a calorie-free sweetener used in some diet sodas, to diabetes-prone mice. One group of mice ate chow to which both aspartame and corn oil were added; another other group ate chow with only corn oil added.

After three months, the mice that ate aspartame showed elevated blood sugar levels.
"These results suggest that heavy aspartame exposure might potentially directly contribute to increased blood glucose levels, and thus contribute to the associations observed between diet soda consumption and the risk of diabetes in humans," said study researcher Gabriel Fernandes, professor of rheumatology and clinical immunology at the university.

 Source: My Health News Daily

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