Wellness

If you are a Diet Coke or Pepsi Max addict, look away now.

According to a brand new study, researchers at Boston University have found that people who consume drinks sweetened with aspartame are more than three times more likely to suffer a deadly stroke or develop dementia.

In fact, the scientists behind the study claim to now have found a direct link between diet drinks and strokes, and urge consumers to avoid these completely.

The study of almost 4,400 adults also suggests that diet drinks are in fact far worse for you than their sugar-laden equivalents, as no direct link between sugar and either of the illnesses – although the researchers are keen to stress they are not recommending consumers to drink these either.

This is what Matthew Pase, senior fellow in the department of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine, had to say about his team's findings:

"Our study shows a need to put more research into this area given how often people drink artificially sweetened beverages," Pase explains.

"And although we did not find an association between stroke or dementia and the consumption of sugary drinks, this certainly does not mean they are a healthy option. We recommend that people drink water on a regular basis instead of sugary or artificially sweetened beverages."

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The reason diet drinks are so bad for our health, according to the Boston scientists, is because of the artificial sweeteners used, mainly aspartame and saccharine, as these proved to have a damaging effect on blood vessels, eventually triggering strokes and dementia.

This becomes a major health problem when you take into context the popularity of sugar-free drinks, and how they are widely consumed by both children and adults.

As well as being directly bad for our health, a major review earlier this year by Imperial College London proved that diet drinks were no better at aiding weight loss than full-fat drinks. And, in fact, many experts believe these drinks to be fueling the obesity crisis, as artificial sweeteners are known to trigger the sugar receptors in the brain, making us crave sweet food.

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study, nutrition, Diet Coke, aspartame