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Diet drinks are bad for the heart – scientists

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Scientists analyzed data of 104 thousand people over 10 years and found that those who regularly consumed drinks with sugar or sweeteners or sugar substitutes had heart problems.

Diet drinks loved by many for its fewer calories has been proven equally unhealthy for your heart. According to a study, at Sorbonne University, Paris, people consuming sweet drinks including artificially sweetened drinks are more likely by 20% to have heart diseases than those who avoid them.

Scientists conducted the study over a period of 10 years from 2009 to 2019 with above 104,000 people as its participants. During the study, people were divided into three groups depending on their consumption levels of sugary drinks, which included non-consumers, low consumers and high consumers. The drinks were divided as sugary and artificially sweetened.

The drinks which contained 5% or more sugar were categorized under sugary drinks. Whereas drinks with sugar content less than 5% or with ‘non-nutritive sweeteners’ were put under the category of artificially sweetened drinks.

The partakers of the experiment were expected to fill three daily diet diaries for six months. In this extensive data, scientists looked for any connection between the consumption of these drinks and heart diseases, including stroke, transient ischemic attack, angioplasty, acute coronary syndrome and myocardial infraction.

The study found that participants who consumed diet drinks were at par with those who drink sugary beverages of having heart diseases.

The partakers under the ‘high consumption’ category were found to be at 20% more risk for heart diseases than those who restrict themselves to other options like tea, coffee or water. The type of sugar in their drink, whether artificial or regular, was of no significance.

In recent times, there has been increasing number of research that indicates artificial sweeteners can change metabolism process in human body, by enhancing its speed to absorb more sugar in less time.

Eloi Chazelas, the lead author of the study, summarized her research as:

“Higher intakes of sugary drinks and artificially sweetened beverages were associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, suggesting that artificial sweeteners might not be a healthy substitute for sugary drinks. These data provide additional arguments to fuel the current debate on taxes, labeling, and regulation of sugary drinks and artificially sweetened beverages.”

The sweetened drink advertised as low in calories is heart-damaging, researchers warn.

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