I am always surprised when I see “healthy” people turning to diet soft drinks for thirst, or even as a guilty (and sometimes not-so-guilty) pleasure.
Although there is a lot of conflicting information about the safety of artificial sugars (depending on who funds the research), there have been numerous studies about the safety of that fizzy, calorie-free, artificial drink.
Just recently, a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine reported in the New York Times found a possible link between diet soft drinks and cardiovascular disease.
With heart disease being the number one leading cause of death in women today, this research is huge.
The harm doesn’t stop there.
Heart attack and stroke:
That same study found that daily consumption of diet sodas is associated with an increase in stroke, heart attack and even death — serious side effects for a dinner table drink.
In fact, one study reported in Indiana Public Media found that individuals who consumed diet soda daily, had a 48 percent higher risk of stroke or heart attack than those who did not consume soda at all. It is important to note that “the study didn’t look at the type of diet soda or the amount consumed, just whether or not subjects drank diet soda everyday”.
One long-term study of nurse participants found that diet sodas can have a negative health effect on the kidneys, as reported on NPR. Although this particular study could have been influenced by other contributing factors, it found that diet soda consumption could be associated with decreased kidney function over time.
Liver damage is yet another side effect of diet soda drinking. Livestrong cites a 2009 study published in the Journal of Hepatology that found that, “people who drink about 33 oz. of diet soda per day, roughly three cans, were five-times more likely to develop a fatty liver than those who drank no diet soda.”
The list goes on. Last but not least, diet soda is linked to obesity.