Will Diet Soda Give You A Stroke?

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(File photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(File photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Recent Blog Entries From Dr. Dave Hnida


 Written by Dr. Dave Hnida CBS4 Medical Editor

You might be cutting a few calories by going the diet soda route, but you also may be raising your risk of a stroke. At least that”s what a new study from the University of Miami has to say.

Researchers followed more than 2,500 people for about nine years and analyzed their soda preferences. Those who drank diet soda over the course of that nine year timeframe had a 61 percent higher rate of strokes. That’s even when taking into account high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, etc.

So researchers conclude: diet soda = higher risk of stroke

But here’s the question — Why? The researchers say they don’t know. They also admit they don’t know how much diet soda it takes to increase the risk. A can a day? A six-pack?

So I don’t think you need to worry that popping the lid on a can of  artificially sweetened and flavored fizzy water is going to cause you to keel over.

But I would keep in mind other research that shows diet soda and sweeteners may affect the brain and actually trigger you to eat more. Also, there may be a link between diet soda and high blood pressure, diabetes, and high blood fats — that’s what other research has suggested.

The bottom line: A can a day probably isn’t going to do you in. But one, perhaps, should be your limit. The stroke stuff isn’t that convincing, but the other health problems seem to show up when you go with two or more diet sodas a day.

It all means the same mantra — moderation is the key.

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