Could artificial sweeteners be bad for your brain?

New study discovers link between sugar-free drinks and dementia.

artificial sweetener

When you are walking down the shopping aisle, selecting the sugar-free option seems like an easy, healthy choice.

Unfortunately, there may be a catch.

New research has discovered a link between artificial sweeteners, particularly those used in soft drinks, and an increased risk of dementia and stroke.

Boston University’s Department of Neurology scientists analysed health data from 2888 adults who had filled out diet surveys, and estimated their incidence of stroke or dementia over 10 years.

Compared with people who said they did not consume diet drinks, those who had at least one a day suffered three times more strokes, and were three times more likely to develop dementia.

The researchers did not find a link between drinking regular soft drinks and stroke or dementia.

Even when considering other factors such as gender, diet, smoking and physical activity, the study still found an increased risk in those who regularly consumed diet soft drinks.

While this research is concerning and may cause you to rethink your drinking options, it does not give an accurate reflection of current information relating to artificial sweeteners.

As the research looks at information on diet drinks from 10 years ago, the sweeteners still in use at the time included saccharin, acesulfame-K and aspartame.

Many modern soft drinks now use sucralose as an artificial sweetener, which  is unlikely to have been included in this study.

While the subject still requires more research, when it comes to choosing between soft drinks you may be a lot better off moderating your intake and choosing the ultimate zero calorie drink – water.



    To make a comment, please register or login
    18th Aug 2017
    Or try Stevia which is a herbal sweetener. You can even grow your own.
    18th Aug 2017
    OK - this is from someone who was hooked on diet coke. I didn't drink it for its dietary value - I just found sugared soft drinks gave me mouth ulcers.
    However, it was giving me that bounce I needed to hit the work day with the energy required to give it my all.
    The down side - massive joint pain. It wasn't until a friend told me that "diet anything" interferes with the parathyroid that I started reading up on what it was doing to me.
    Dr Google was absolutely right. It was leaching my bones of nutrients.
    I went from being hooked to stopping overnight. The symptoms went away and I won't touch the stuff ever again.
    I don't know about any dementia issues however if it is doing so much damage to the rest of the body it can't be good for the brain either.
    18th Aug 2017
    I'm still drinking my 3 cans a day of Pepsi max or Coke Zero. I like the taste. If I got joint pain though, I'd be off it too.

    Contains sweeteners 950 & 951. They say it's the cause of obesity but I think it's more the chips, chocolate and other goodies you have with diet drink or sugar drinks.

    I use to get mouth ulcers from Vegemite, though I can eat it these days.
    The caffeine interferes with iron intake. I'll have to check about the bones, that's a big deal.
    Anyway, I have extreme anxiety about everyday life, I'm not going to worry about dying. Not today anyway.

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