Numerous studies have found that artificial sweeteners can cause a host of health issues, like diabetes and cancer, even though they face a harsh industry response.
A recent study conducted at Boston University showed that the daily consumption of diet soda triples the risk of stroke and dementia. The study, titled “Sugar and Artificially Sweetened Beverages and the Risks of Incident Stroke and Dementia, A Prospective Cohort Study,” was published in the journal Stroke.
It analyzed data from about 3,000 adults for 10 years, divided into two categories: older than 45 years old, where they evaluated the stroke risk, and older than 60, where they concentrated on dementia.
Interestingly, researchers discovered that sugar-sweetened beverages were not linked to stroke or dementia-like artificially sweetened beverages are.
According to Sudha Seshadri, MD, senior study author, a neurology professor and faculty member at Boston University’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center:
“These studies are not the be-all and end-all, but it’s strong data and a very strong suggestion. It looks like there is not very much of an upside to having sugary drinks, and substituting the sugar with artificial sweeteners doesn’t seem to help. Maybe good old-fashioned water is something we need to get used to.”
Dr. Josh Axe speaks about this issue as well:
“Whether it’s “real” sugar or we’re talking about high fructose corn syrup dangers related to soda, the science is clear. The sugar industry scandal of the 1950s and ’60s set a dietary disaster into motion. Faulty sugar industry-funded studies shifted public perception, tricking people into thinking fat, not sugar, was the nutritional villain.”
In 2017, Alzheimer’s & Dementia published the research of Mathew Pase, which analyzed data and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and cognitive testing result from about 4,000 people, and focused on people who consumed more than two sugary drinks daily, and more than three per week of soda.
Researchers found that people from the “high intake” group have developed several signs of accelerated brain aging linked to an early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, they also found that at least one diet soda daily led to a smaller brain volume.
Dr. Joseph Mercola also speaks about the severe side-effects of the use of artificial sweeteners, and states that they are linked to obesity and diabetes:
“Over the years, an ever-growing number of studies have shown artificial sweeteners raise your risk of both obesity and Type 2 diabetes — perhaps even to a greater degree than sugar does.
Most recently, animal research, presented at the annual Experimental Biology conference in San Diego again confirmed that artificial sweeteners raise your risk of obesity and diabetes.
The study, which explored how different sweeteners affect the way food is used and stored in the body, and how they affect vascular functioning, found both sugar and artificial sweeteners result in impairments, albeit through different pathways. As noted by the authors:
“This study tested the response of the vascular endothelium in vitro and the in vivo response of diabetes susceptible … rat model to glucose, aspartame, and acesulfame potassium supplementation… Through this set of experiments, we have identified unique signatures of alterations in lipid metabolism, among others, following artificial sweetener consumption.
Overall, results of this study suggest that exposure to high glucose and artificial sweetener administration lead to unique mechanisms of vascular impairment and homeostatic alterations that may be important during the onset and progression of diabetes and obesity.”
Even though the controversy remains, numerous studies link artificial sweeteners to negative health effects. In the modern world, the industry influence and scientific fraud are extremely powerful.
For instance, aspartame could not be approved by the FDA for more than twenty years, mainly as a result of the following safety issues and reasons: high cholesterol levels, flawed data, and fluid loss in the body.
Yet, the determination of the pharmaceutical giant G.D. Searle – the makers of the NutraSweet and Equal brands to get it approved, finally succeeded. All it took was flexing political muscle, and Donald Rumsfeld, the powerful political figure in the Bush administration, played a major role in the FDA approval of aspartame in 1981.