Daily consumption of at least one artificially-sweetened beverage is associated with almost three-times the risk of developing stroke and dementia, compared to drinking such beverages less than once a week, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke .
While the study’s authors caution that their observational study was not designed to prove cause and only shows a trend among one group of people, they said the findings demonstrate a need for more research in this area, given how often people drink artificially-sweetened beverages.
Lead author, Matthew Pase, put the results into context. “Even if someone is three-times as likely to develop stroke or dementia, it is by no means a certain fate,” he said. “In our study, 2 per cent of the people had a new stroke and 5 per cent developed dementia, so we’re still talking about a small number of people developing either stroke or dementia.”
“Although we did not find an association between stroke or dementia and the consumption of sugary drinks, this certainly does not mean they are a healthy option. We recommend that people drink water on a regular basis instead of sugary or artificially-sweetened beverages.”