It seems like so many people are overtly indulging in diet soda. Having the word “diet” in the name makes us feel like it is okay and safe to overindulge.
Diet sodas offer no calories with the taste of sweetness (usually surpassing that of regular sugar). No wonder it has appealed to so many worldwide. A regular 12 oz can of soda has approximately 150 calories, while the same amount of diet soda has zero calories. So the choice seems simple and obvious, right?
Although our need for a guilt-free soda has been answered, there are clear dangers in drinking it. New studies indicate that sodas with artificial sweeteners can cause serious health problems.
A study conducted in 2012 showed that daily consumption of diet soda increased the chances of heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and weight gain… thats right, weight gain!
A study conducted by University of Texas Health Science Center found that those who drink two or more diet sodas per day, have a greater risk of becoming overweight with an average increase of the waistline by 500%. Why does this happen? A study from Purdue University suggested that artificial sweeteners can disrupt the body’s natural ability to regulate calorie intake in regards to sweet foods. So people who consume diet drinks or foods with artificial sweeteners are likely to overeat as the body is being tricked into thinking it’s eating sugar, which leads the body to crave more.
Other studies conducted in the last few years have also shown an increase risk of preterm delivery during pregnancy, erosion of teeth, and dehydration.
There was a case of a woman who was hospitalize because she only consumed diet soda. She had not consumed water in over a decade. While in the hospital, doctors found extremely low levels of potassium which contributed to her erratic heart beat. She was asked to restrain from drinking diet soda and within 10 days her symptoms disappeared.
In the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (American Diabetes Association), daily consumption of diet soda was associated with a 67% greater risk of type 2 diabetes and 36% greater risk for metabolic syndrome.
Although the FDA approved the use of artificial sweeteners and ruled out cancer risk, we really do not know the long term effect or its correlation with cancer. Independent studies are currently being conducted on the long term consumption of artificial sweeteners and cancer correlation.
Did you know diet sodas also contain something that regular sodas don’t? They contain potassium benzoate or sodium benzoate… a preservative, which happens to be a mold inhibitors! These chemicals are known to do severe damage to the mitochondria of cells. Preservatives that have also been linked to a variety of allergic conditions including asthma and hives. Both sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate are classified as mild irritants to the skin, eyes, and all mucous membranes by the Food Commission in the U.K.
A decade long study conducted by Harvard Medical School suggests that consumption of diet soda is associated with a 2x increased risk for kidney dysfunction.
The side effects go on and on… hope this was an eye-opener for those of you who drink diet sodas or know someone who does.
Please feel free to share with others and also leave your comments below.
Medical Sense brought to you by Milan Patel, M.D.