Artificially Sweetened Dinks May Increase the Risk of Stroke

Medical professionals loosely define a stroke as a ‘brain attack.’ Technically, it occurs when blood flow to a certain section of the brain is cut off, resulting in the death of brain cells in the affected area due to oxygen deprivation. The death of the brain cells causes the affected part of the brain to lose its control abilities. The extent of damage to the cells and a particular area in the brain will determine how badly the stroke will affect the individual.

A stroke can have varied effects on the body ranging from temporary weakness in the limbs to permanent paralysis. Two-thirds of all stroke survivors will experience some form of disability, but some can recover completely. There have been numerous studies carried out on strokes, and here is a recent one that has provided new findings.

According to a recent study published in an AHA journal titled Stroke, artificially sweetened drinks can increase the risk of stroke. However, the study only showed an association. It did not show a cause & effect relationship between artificially sweetened drinks including diet soda and a high risk of experiencing a stroke.

Surprisingly, scientists did not find a connection between those particular health risks and other sugary beverages such as sugar sweetened sodas, juice and fruit drinks. The study collected data on 2,888 adults who were older than 45 years from the small town of Framingham in Massachusetts. The study was conducted as part of the Framingham Heart Study, which is a long-term research project by the Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at Boston University.

The researchers collected data on how many artificially sweetened drinks each individual in the study group had at different points from 1991 to 2001. The study then compared how many people in the groups had suffered a stroke over the next ten years. The researchers discovered that those who had drunk sugary drinks on a daily basis were almost 3 times as likely to suffer from an ischemic stroke as those who had drunk such beverages only occasionally.

The new findings of this study can help people make a change in their lifestyles and dietary habits. The study comes after a series of previous studies that also showed an association between intake of sugar sweetened beverages and health conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart failure. Most health experts agree that avoiding artificially sweetened drinks can go a long way towards keeping many chronic diseases at bay.