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Are Diet Sodas and Diet Sft Drinks Bad For Your Health?

A box of Diet Rite.

A box of Diet Rite. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


A new study reports a potential link between daily consumption of diet soft drinks and an increased risk of vascular events.

Individuals who drink diet sodas and diet soft drinks on a daily basis may be at increased risk of suffering vascular events such as stroke, heart attack, and vascular death. This is according to a new study from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and at Columbia University Medical Center.

They found that regular soft drink consumption and a more moderate intake of diet soft drinks do not appear to be linked to a higher risk of vascular events. The research appears online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine published by Springer.

Although artificially sweetened soft drinks are advertised as healthier alternatives to sugar-sweetened beverages, due to their lack of calories, the long-term health consequences of drinking diet soft drinks remain unclear.

The researchers examined the relationship between both diet and regular soft drink consumption and risk of stroke, myocardial infarction (heart attack), and vascular death.

Data were analyzed from 2,564 participants in the NIH-funded Northern Manhattan Study, which was designed to determine stroke incidence, risk factors and prognosis in a multi-ethnic urban population. The researchers looked at how often individuals drank soft drinks (Both diet and regular) and the number of vascular events that occurred over a ten-year period.

They found that those who drank diet soft drinks daily were 43 percent more likely to have suffered a vascular event than those who drank none, after taking into account pre-existing vascular conditions such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes and high blood pressure. Light diet soft drink users, (those who drank between one per month and six per week, and those who chose regular soft drinks were not more likely to suffer vascular events.

The researchers concluded: “Our results suggest a potential association between daily diet soft drink consumption and vascular outcomes. However, the mechanisms by which soft drinks may affect vascular events are unclear. There is a need for further research before any conclusions can be drawn regarding the potential health consequences of diet soft drink consumption.”

Story Source: Springer Science+Business Media,

Journal Reference: Diet Soft Drink Consumption is Associated with an Increased Risk of Vascular Events in the Northern Manhattan Study. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2012;

Springer Science+Business Media (2012, January). “Are diet soft drinks bad for you?”

This article is for informational and educational purposes only;  It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

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