Diet soda is looked at as being a reasonable alternative to regular soda choices, but is there a potential risk to be had when you drink them? According to a new study (which was conducted by Dr. Ankur Vyas), there may be something to worry about. This study was coined the “Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study”, and the research uncovered that participants drinking more than two cans of diet soda a day, were around 30% more likely to have a cardiovascular episode. Not only that, but they were around 50% more prone to dying of a heart-related disease when compared to a participant that had none. The numbers are staggering, and it leads many of us to believe that diet soda could be potentially dangerous.
The study was one of the largest that’s ever been conducted in this variety with close to 60,000 women taking part in the process (with the research spanning over 9 years in total). The 59,614 participants were placed into four different groups, which were as follows:
· Two or more diet drinks a day
· Five to seven diet drinks per week
· One to four diet drinks per week
· Zero to three diet drinks per week
After nine years, the health records of every single participant were analyzed. Anything that had to do with coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, heart attack and ischemic stroke (among many other problems) were prominent in 8.5% of the women participating who had consumed two or more diet drinks a day. This is compared to the 6.9% of participants who had five to seven diet drinks per week; 6.8% in the group that had one to four diet drinks per week and 7.2% in the zero to three per month group.
The results didn’t seem the mimic the hypothesis, which was that aspartame was going to be a leading cause of heart disease. The records did show that there was a slightly increased number of health-related issues, and the women who were in the two or more diet drinks a day group were younger than the other participants (on average). This could mean that diet sodas are causing these heart problems at an accelerated rate, allowing them to appear earlier on in life.
Although there are plenty of things to take away from this study, there is no solid evidence that would directly attribute aspartame to heart disease. With that being said, regular soda may actually be better than that of the diet side.
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