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NEW YORK (CBSMiami) – They are very popular and many people say they can’t live without them, but now there are new health concerns are being raised about diet drinks.

About one out of every five Americans drink diet sodas. That’s more than three billion gallons a year.

Researchers analyzed ten years of data where people gave detailed information about their eating and drinking habits.

In the decade, five percent developed dementia. The Framingham Heart Study found that drinking at least one artificially sweetened beverage a day more than doubled the risk of dementia. They also found other factors, such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes or high cholesterol might be to blame.

Matthew Pase, the lead author of the study, said he understands it may sound confusing but there is a correlation.

“It might be that diet sodas lead to an increased vascular risk, so in other words, those who consume diet sodas may have an increased risk of getting diabetes or becoming overweight and this might be associated with an increased risk of dementia,” said Pase.

So his advice.

“Since diet soda and regular soda have no real nutritional benefit I suggest that people avoid them and drink water instead,” he said.

Pase points out that this kind of study cannot prove cause and effect. He said it may be that people who start drinking diet soda may already be at risk for dementia because they are overweight or have diabetes.


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