If you’re on a quest to lose those extra kilos, you would have often heard about diet drinks or zero calorie drinks being actually unhealthier than its regular counterpart. A recent study has backed this claim, saying that its finding has found that diet drinks could possibly increase the risk of having a stroke among post-menopausal women. Published in the journal, Stroke, the study said that the stroke is caused by a blocked artery, especially small arteries, stroke can turn out to be life-threatening. The association was found after drawing a comparison between women who consumed diet drinks less than once a week or not at all. The study was conducted on 81,714 post-menopausal women aged 50-79 years.
The findings said that women who drank two or more zero calorie drinks per day were 23% more likely to have a stroke, 31% more likely to have an ischemic stroke, and 29% were at risk of developing heart disease (fatal or non-fatal heart attack). In addition, there was a 16 % risk of deaths from any cause. Apart from this, the risk of stroke doubled in women without previous heart disease or diabetes and obese women without previous heart disease or diabetes.
“Many well-meaning people, especially those who are overweight or obese, drink low-calorie sweetened drinks to cut calories in their diet. Our research and other observational studies have shown that artificially-sweetened beverages may not be harmless and high consumption is associated with a higher risk of stroke and heart disease,” said lead author Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani, Associate Professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the US.
However, the results in post-menopausal women may not be generalisable to men or younger women. “The American Heart Association suggests water as the best choice for a no-calorie beverage,” suggested Rachel K. Johnson, Professor at the University of Vermont in the US.