A new study, conducted by The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and Boston University’s School of Medicine between 1991 and 2001, indicates that the consumption of artificially-sweetened drinks correlates with an increased risk of stroke and dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease). Published online in The American Heart Association’s journal, Stroke, on Thursday, more than 4,000 adults in Framingham, MA (divided into two groups: 2,888 subjects were above the age of 45, where as 1484 were older than 60) were studied. Although there was no visible cause-and-effect determined, researchers conclude that those who consume diet drinks daily have a three times more likely risk of stroke and dimentia, compared to those who drink less than one artificially-sweetened beverage per week.
While sugar-sweetened beverages were not determined to be associated with stroke or dementia, there is still cause for concern. “In our first study we found that those who more frequently consume sugary beverages such as fruit juices and sodas had greater evidence of accelerated brain aging such as overall smaller brain volumes, they had poorer memory function and they also had smaller hippocampus, which is an area of the brain important for memory consolidation,” lead researcher, Matthew Pase, shared.