You might think you're doing yourself a favor, opting for the diet version of your favorite soda or fruit drink. But consume a little too much and you could be setting yourself up for heart troubles later in life, researchers are saying.
It has been found that women who are postmenopausal are more likely to be at risk for heart diseases or even strokes if they have diet drinks. This is according to an ongoing study. Women who consumed at 2-3 diet drinks a day were more likely to die from a disease related to the heart as compared to those who didn’t.
This research was informally conducted on almost sixty thousand women by the Women’s Health Initiative, a long-running U.S. observational, that studies heart related diseases and patterns in women who have crossed menopause. “Our findings are in line with and extend data from previous studies showing an association between diet drinks and metabolic syndrome,” said Dr. Ankur Vyas of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, lead investigator of the study. The syndrome is associated with a cluster of risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and weight gain.
The average age group of women was around 62 and they were checked to be sure of having no history of cardiovascular diseases. The women were asked to report their diet drink intake and it was found that 8.5% of them were at risk of some sort of heart disease or the other. “We only found an association, so we can’t say that diet drinks cause these problems,” Vyas said, adding that other factors may explain the apparent connection between diet drink consumption and risk of heart attack and stroke.
Women who drank more diet drinks, or more prone to smoking were at a greater risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. Vyas stated that there should be more studies conducted to analyze the risks associated to diet sodas and find a connection to cardiovascular diseases.
Other studies have also suggested soft drinks can be harmful for older women. One study showed colas, both diet and regular, are associated with lower bone density-- a major concern for older women, who are at risk for osteoporosis. Earlier studies have suggested a link between heavy consumption of diet soft drinks and Type 2 diabetes as well as metabolic syndrome, which involves high blood pressure and abdominal obesity. While the actual cause-effect has yet to be proven, the heart-breaking truth for those who like to regularly consume diet soft drinks is they are not healthy.
And while people still may think "diet" means a healthier product, another study pointed to the artificial sweeteners in these low-calorie drinks as the cause of metabolic syndrome and heart disease.
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