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Study shows link between diet soda consumption and heart attacks

Diet Soda
GFDL/CC-BY-SA - Wikimedia Commons

If you are one of the millions of Americans who drink diet soda because you think it is a healthier alternative to regular soda, you may want to reconsider opening that next can of diet pop. A study by the Journal of General Internal Medicine has shown that drinking diet soda on a daily basis increases your chances of having a stroke or heart attack significantly. The study which took place in 2012 is titled 'Diet Soft Drink Consumption is Associated with an Increased Risk of Vascular Events in the Northern Manhattan Study' and was conducted by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

During this particular study the University studied the drinking habits of more than 2,500 people over a 10 year period, and the results they obtained were staggering. The study showed that those who drank diet soda on a daily basis were 43 percent more likely to suffer from a stroke, heart attack, or other vascular condition when compared to those who did not drink it, even if there were pre-existing vascular conditions in those who did not drink the diet soda.

The specific connection between drinking diet soda and having a stroke or heart attack was not clear, despite the overwhelming evidence linking the two together. Researcher Hannah Gardener said; “results suggest a potential association between daily diet soft drink consumption and vascular outcomes. However, the mechanisms by which soft drinks may affect vascular events are unclear".

For a long time, researchers have believed that artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame, and Saccharin play a large role in the increased risk of stroke and heart attack events among those who drink diet soda on a daily basis. Artificial sweeteners have also been linked with other health issues such as tinnitus, headaches, nervous system disorders and even cancer.

The next time you are thirsty do not automatically reach for a can of diet soda, (or any soda) especially if you have had one for the day already. We all know that water is the best solution when it comes to living a healthy life. Soft drink makers want you to believe that diet varieties of their soft drinks are better for you, but with a 43 percent increase in your chances of having a life altering event, you might want to reconsider opening that can of pop.

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