So many of us gave up our addiction to soft drinks and switched to diet sodas, out of guilt and concern for our waistline. We were so proud of ourselves and so self-righteous. But, it might not be enough. The latest study calls for concern because of potential link between diet soft drinks consumption and heart disease.
The study, published recently in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, worked with 2,564 people over 40 from Manhattan. This ten-year long study looked for the association between the consumption of soft drink and diseases such as heart attack, stroke and vascular death. The conclusion of the study is that people drinking soft drinks are at higher risk of heart disease than people not drinking them, regardless of the kind of soft drink- diet or regular.
This was not the first study evaluating the risk we put ourselves in when we gulp our favorite beverages. Number of studies in 2008, 2009 and 2011 investigated the link between artificial sweeteners and a range of diseases, including cancers, metabolic syndrome, kidney disease, weak bones and pre-term delivery of babies. The findings of the studies were based on animal research, and were not supported by all scientists. But, the fact is that we have been aware for quite some time that soft drinks, sweetened with sugar or sugar substitute, are not good for us. They are not part of any food group and should be skipped.
Dr. Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of Centers for Science in the Public Interest suggests that we should give up on our soda addiction, because of concerns about the effects of ingredients such as phosphoric acid, various artificial sweeteners, colors and caffeine may have on our health. And who knows what else is in our favorite sodas, since the ingredients are, after all, a trade secret.
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