I came across an article today on WebMD that caught my eye, “Diet Soda May Heighten Risk for Vascular Events”. I am certain that my phone will soon begin ringing off the hook, my email will overflow, and the first question I will be asked by interviewers is…”Should we stop drinking diet soda?”
First, take a look at the article from WebMD. I have highlighted in RED the wording that caught my eye. After the article, read my four points. I believe that after you read my “take” on the interpretation of this study, you will rest a little easier at night.
But….you know how it goes. Once a story like this gets press, it leaves an impression on people. I’m wondering if those who read this article will stop drinking sugar- free drinks and revert to regular soft drinks. If so, over 100 million people in the US will get fatter and sicker as these people all have prediabetes/diabetes and regular soft drinks will are toxic to their bodies. So you see, a well placed article like this can achieve much…..fatter people with higher blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, rates of depression, certain cancers, etc etc etc. More fuel for the medication industry’s coffers…..and a fatter, sicker population. Gotcha!
See the full article below…
February 9, 2011 (Los Angeles, California) — Diet soda may not be the healthier alternative many had hoped. A new study suggests that the popular drinks may increase the risk for stroke, myocardial infarction, and vascular death.
“People who had diet soda every day experienced a 61% higher risk of vascular events than those who reported drinking no soda,” lead investigator Hannah Gardener, ScD, an epidemiologist from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida, told reporters attending a news conference here at the International Stroke Conference.
The risk persisted after controlling for metabolic syndrome, peripheral vascular disease, and cardiac disease history (relative risk, 1.48; 95% confidence interval, 1.03 – 2.12).
“This is the first report of this association,” said American Stroke Association national spokesperson Larry Goldstein, MD. “I think that it’s always good to do things in moderation. People should look at this information and consider it in the context of their other risk factors.”
The researchers looked at more than 2500 people from the multiethnic Northern Manhattan Study. Participants were asked to report how much and what kind of soda they drank.
During an average follow-up of 9.3 years, 559 vascular events occurred, including ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke.
The researchers also observed a marginally significant increased risk for vascular events among those who consumed diet soda daily and regular soda once or more a month (adjusted relative risk, 1.74; 95% confidence interval, 0.96 – 3.16).
As reported by Medscape Medical News, previous studies have suggested a link between diet soda consumption and the risk for metabolic syndrome and diabetes. But this is the first time diet drinks have been associated with vascular events.
“This is an observational study and not a prospective randomized trial,” Dr. Goldstein, from the Duke Stroke Center, in Durham, North Carolina, pointed out. “This is an association and not yet a proven causal relationship.”
The investigators acknowledge that additional studies are needed. The potential mechanisms for the association between diet soda and vascular events remain unknown.
What should clinicians advise patients on the basis of the information we have today? Steven Greenberg, MD, from Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, suggests that patients start by concentrating on a healthy diet and regular exercise. “Once the metabolic syndrome is under control and any risk of diabetes, then we can consider cutting back on soda consumption.“ Dr. Greenberg is the vice chair of the International Stroke Conference Committee, and during an interview he suggested that patients shouldn’t rush to eliminate diet drinks.
“I do think this is a wake-up call, though,” he said, “and we need to start paying closer attention.”
This study was funded by the Javits award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the Evelyn McKnight Brain Institute. The researchers have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference. Abstract # P55. News conference February 9, 2011.
The Study Interpreted by Diane Kress on Behalf of the Millions with Metabolism B
Take note…..although you probably think they are comparing diet soda drinkers to regular soda drinkers, they’re not. Look again….they are comparing diet soda drinker to NON SODA DRINKING people. There is a major difference when you realize this.
1. The study took into consideration people who drank diet AND regular soda…Did you notice that? Even though the study implicates diet soda, the participants did drink regular soda, too! One can of regular soda contains 11 tsp of sugar! For the millions with Met B, this is the equivalent of 2.5 servings of high glycemic carbohydrate! Two cans contain 22 tsp of pure sugar or 5 servings of high glycemic index carb. Even if they drank mostly diet soda but had 2 regulars….is it valid to call these cardio vascular events “diet soda” related?
2. Most diet soda drinkers are also calorie counters….they choose zero calorie items as beverages not wanting to waste calories on drinks. Well, over 50% of calorie counters unknowingly have Met B. As calorie counters, they are not only drinking diet soda, but they also following low calorie, low fat diets. We now know that low fat, low calorie diets are HIGH CARB diets. Who’s to say that the low calorie, low fat diet isn’t pushing their Met B and causing the strokes, myocardial infarctions, and vascular death????
3. The chief diet sweetener in diet soda is aspartame….long implicated with neurological complications….This study seems to be pointing to calorie free drinks (calorie free sweeteners) as the culprits. Note that Stevia and Sucralose are in a whole different ballpark than aspartame when it comes to the neurological system.
4. Most sodas (diet soda included) is high in caffeine. They are not comparing diet soda drinkers to regular soda drinkers….they are comparing diet soda drinkers to non-soda drinkers. So….the diet soda drinkers most likely do drink more caffeine than non soda drinkers….and caffeine raises the heart rate, is a stimulant, and constricts blood vessels….(heart attack, stroke, or PVD anyone???).