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Medicine Science

Diet Sodas May Be Tied To Stroke, Dementia Risk (cnn.com) 223

Gulping down an artificially sweetened beverage not only may be associated with health risks for your body, but also possibly your brain, a new study suggests. From a report: Artificially sweetened drinks, such as diet sodas, were tied to a higher risk of stroke and dementia in the study, which published in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke on Thursday. The study sheds light only on an association, as the researchers were unable to determine an actual cause-and-effect relationship between sipping artificially sweetened drinks and an increased risk for stroke and dementia. Therefore, some experts caution that the findings should be interpreted carefully. No connection was found between those health risks and other sugary beverages, such as sugar-sweetened sodas, fruit juice and fruit drinks.
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Diet Sodas May Be Tied To Stroke, Dementia Risk

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  • Huh? What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Friday April 21, 2017 @01:32PM (#54277585)

    the researchers were unable to determine an actual cause-and-effect relationship between sipping artificially sweetened drinks and an increased risk for stroke and dementia

    In other words, the headline is worthless click-bait. This is not a "study", it's a statistical analysis of a database set that proves nothing at all by itself.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by sabri ( 584428 )

      In other words, the headline is worthless click-bait

      Yes, this is not much more than the hundreds of "This Is What Trump May Do Now" headlines seen shortly after his inauguration.

      If it contains "May", it is nothing but speculation. This is not science, and definitely not newsworthy.

      • The headlines are written by journalists and are click-bait. The scientific journal article itself has the title "Sugar- and Artificially Sweetened Beverages and the Risks of Incident Stroke and Dementia". That's not click-bait. It's typical of scientific modesty.

        Science doesn't ever prove things; it just provides evidence. There is always a "May" in a scientific conclusion. Over additional studies, evidence can either corroborate or contradict previous evidence, and we can make that "May" stronger or weake

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      I, for one, don't believe this study at... what were we talking about? Chickens? Yes, I had some chickens when I was a child, one was called Lucy she used to, oh it's wonderful weather today.

    • I tend to agree in this case. The so-called 'article' on CNN is devoid of any hard data, and the links that you'd think would provide hard data, just lead you around in circles and don't show you the actual study data. I went there looking to see which 'artificial sweeteners' they tested in their study because I was interested in whether or not they classified stevia as an 'artificial sweetener'; I found no listings of anything, just more abstract text that basically tells you nothing.
    • This is not a "study", it's a statistical analysis of a database set that proves nothing at all by itself.

      That's called a study. Science, unlike math, doesn't prove things. It does give you a good reason to do more studies to try to understand the relationship better.

      • There won't be more studies. The goal was to create a headline that people would remember. Mission accomplished. We're done here.

  • For fuck sakes (Score:5, Informative)

    by nightfire-unique ( 253895 ) on Friday April 21, 2017 @01:42PM (#54277673)

    It's bad enough having to wade through all of the uneducated mouthbreathers and their "HEALTH GOODNESS WELLNESS NOW!!11" anti-science garbage sites.

    Do we really need to see more garbage science on /.?

    If you want to know the risks of aspartame (spoiler alert: there are none unless you've been diagnosed with phenylketonuria), consult legitimate scientific bodies, like the NHS or Health Canada.

    • Do we really need to see more garbage science on /.?

      Yes. garbage science needs pointed out, and demolished at every possible juncture. The people who believe it need to be rhetorically and unmercifully hammered when they start to spout their nonsense.

      This is how we root out the charlatans. By following the money trail and sponsors of anti- AGW "science", and exposing their cherry picking; by going after corrupt researchers and their anti-vaxxing message, and the "Eat this and be healthy" industry, and by pointing out egregious wrongs (hopefully errors) i

    • Consuming as much as single packet of aspartame gives me a splitting headache. I tested pretty extensively (on myself) several years ago when I was in my mid-20s, and re-confirm my finding when I (rarely) inadvertently consume some. I was (and am) in pretty good health and physically fit, with no known relevant health issues. (Although similar quantities of thujone result in scintillating scotoma for me.)
      • Now I don't say that this didn't happen to you but there is a ward study where 40 subjects who made the similar claims (i.e that they got headaches every time they consumed aspartame) where given either placebo or the amount of aspartame as would be in 4 litres of soda. 45% of the people who got placebo got a headache while 35% in the aspartame group got a headache.

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3657889

  • by GrumpySteen ( 1250194 ) on Friday April 21, 2017 @01:43PM (#54277681)

    "They also found that those who drank one a day were nearly three times as likely to be diagnosed with dementia."

    "Those who drank one to six artificially sweetened beverages a week were 2.6 times as likely to experience an ischemic stroke but were no more likely to develop dementia"

    So if you drink six a week, there's no change to risk of dementia, but somehow the seventh triples your risk?

    • by dslauson ( 914147 ) on Friday April 21, 2017 @01:55PM (#54277795) Journal

      So if you drink six a week, there's no change to risk of dementia, but somehow the seventh triples your risk?

      These are two distinct groups:

      • group A drinks less than one a day.
      • group B drinks more than one a day.

      Crossing from group A into group B doesn't magically triple your risk, but group B, collectively, has a much higher risk.

      Because group B does not have a cap, (7 to infinity sodas), it's intuitive that the collective risk jumps dramatically. That group includes people who are drinking a fucking ridiculous amount of diet soda.

    • I haven't reviewed their data, but sometimes biology works like that. You'll see a buffered response where nothing happens until the buffer is saturated and then effects increase linearly, followed by a plateau where you've saturated the target. You can think of it as sipping alcohol: nothing happens until you have absorbed more than your liver can eliminate per unit time, then you have a linear drunkenness response until you plateau by blacking out and being unable to continue drinking.
    • If they are drinking caffeinated sodas (can't be bothered to look up the study, which is probably worthless weakly correlated crap anyway and as for the click-bait link - fuck it up its stupid ass) - 24/7 caffeine intake might be causing them continuous inadequate rest and sleeping disorders, causing increased mental and physical stress.
      Not to mention that the cause of so much caffeine might be workplace stress, compounding the effects.

      Working oneself into an early grave IS after all tied to stroke, dementi

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "We studied 2888 participants aged >45 years for incident stroke (mean age 62 [SD, 9] years; 45% men) and 1484 participants aged >60 years for incident dementia (mean age 69 [SD, 6] years; 46% men). Beverage intake was quantified using a food-frequency questionnaire at cohort examinations 5 (1991–1995), 6 (1995–1998), and 7 (1998–2001). We quantified recent consumption at examination 7 and cumulative consumption by averaging across examinations. Surveillance for incident events comme

  • The older you get the closer you come to dying.
  • by ITRambo ( 1467509 ) on Friday April 21, 2017 @02:02PM (#54277851)
    This reeks of being sponsored by the sugar industry. Those bastards paid Harvard researches in the 1960's to leave out sugar's being a cause of obesity and to shift the blame to fat. The result is a diabetes "epidemic", likely fueled by excessive sugar consumption taxing the pancreas until it no longer controls insulin levels properly. Any "study' like this should be suspect. How can an artificial sweetener that is not absorbed by the body, like sucralose, have any physical effect, unless the brain hates being tricked and is getting even.
    • false, 2-8% of sucralose consumed is metabolized.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    • How can an artificial sweetener that is not absorbed by the body, like sucralose, have any physical effect, unless the brain hates being tricked and is getting even.

      Nailed it. From Wash U med school [wustl.edu]:

      The elevated insulin response could be a good thing, she pointed out, because it shows the person is able to make enough insulin to deal with spiking glucose levels. But it also might be bad because when people routinely secrete more insulin, they can become resistant to its effects, a path that leads to type 2 diabetes.

      Basically, the part of your digestive tract that identifies incoming sugar and triggers an insulin release can't tell the difference between sugar and sweet

      • by Dynamoo ( 527749 )
        Yes but surely if excess insulin was produced in response to the diet soda, then the subject would be prone to hypoglycaemia?

        The connection could simply be that people who drink sugary drinks all the time die of obesity- and diabetes-related complications before they get a stroke or dementia.

        • by dfghjk ( 711126 )

          This is an unavoidable consequence that I have never seen addressed by anyone suggesting such a mechanism exists.

          If insulin was released in response to diet soda, then dieters (and fasters) drinking diet sodas would know it immediately (and it could be dangerous).

          While I can accept that some sweeteners may have unknown effects, the way it is presented wrt insulin is consistently BS.

      • Basically, the part of your digestive tract that identifies incoming sugar and triggers an insulin release can't tell the difference between sugar and sweeteners.

        No, the beta cells in your pancreas sense how much glucose is in your blood. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

        Otherwise, people who consume artificial sweeteners would get hypoglycemic.

        • I am eternally glad to have access to experts who can dispute research published by respected med schools.
          • In a small study, the researchers analyzed the sweetener sucralose (Splenda®) in 17 severely obese people

            They only looked at sucralose, They only looked at 17 people, with an average BMI of 42. Also, the subjects didn't just consume sucralose, they had sucralose + a ton of glucose.

            You'd be stupid to extrapolate the results of this study to metabolism of normal healthy people with normal eating habits.

            published by respected med schools.

            And often funded by industry with hidden agendas.

          • by swb ( 14022 )

            It's not a legitimate criticism? I mean, if you take a healthy person and bang them with a load of insulin they're not going to become hypoglycemic, especially with the absence of a load of actual glucose for the insulin?

            If you have a well-understood cause-effect and you claim the cause is there don't you have to explain the lack of a reaction for similar causes?

        • by dfghjk ( 711126 )

          This is right, of course. However, the OP is imagining there there is some sort of digestive tract "taste buds" mechanism separate from that because the article is suggesting it. Of course, the consequences would be the same...dire.

      • by dfghjk ( 711126 )

        "Basically, the part of your digestive tract that identifies incoming sugar and triggers an insulin release can't tell the difference between sugar and sweeteners."

        Funny how "it" can't but but everyone else can when it comes to taste. ;)

        Incidentally, that article offers no proof that there IS a "part of your digestive tract that identifies sugar and triggers an insulin release", it merely suggests that such a mechanism may exist and it may possibly affect hormone levels, including insulin. It also acknowl

        • I'd agree with GP that it is pretty obvious that if it can interact with a receptor in one part of your body it could interact with another. That's just chemistry. What isn't obvious at all would be what affect that would have. This is why we look at natural poisons and venoms for medicine: if it is bioactive in one way, then it will likely be bioactive in others.
        • Another problem with that theory is that consumption of fast proteins such as whey also release insulin so it would be quite stupid for the body to determine this on taste.
  • Has anybody looked at who FUNDED this "study"?... could it have been https://www.sugar.org/ [sugar.org] ???
    For example, people have been trying to demonize Aspertame for YEARS.
    But the American Cancer Society finds no ill effects https://www.cancer.org/cancer/... [cancer.org]
    There are other examples if you search.

  • NOTHING has been proved. Not even "may be tied".

    They took a sample of old people and separated those who drank artificially sweetened drinks not taking anything else in consideration - lifestyle, diets, etc.
    It's weak correlation that could end up disproven in the long run. This is not something worth publishing.

    • Actually, they also found a correlation between strokes and diabetes, plus they found a correlation between diabetes and artificial sweetener consumption.

      So, most likely, it goes like this: people eat too much carbs, they develop diabetes, and the diabetes causes stroke. At the same time, their doctor tells them they are diabetic, and should switch to diet soda.

  • Maybe more older people are wisely avoided sugared soft drinks and drinking the diet sodas but have the increased risk of dementia and stroke purely because of age.

    My father drinks diet drinks, he's 75. I'll let everyone know when the poisonous effects kick in. My dead grandma also drank them and she was cut down at the tender young age of 90 by the artificial chemicals causing fatal stroke

  • There's almost a half-dozen common artificial sweeteners on the market right now. Are they saying they're all bad or just a particular one? Maybe some of them? Was this research funded by the sugar industry? They're the new tobacco industry [sugarcoateddoc.com], after all. If you think this is a propaganda movie, think about the tobacco industry fifty years ago. And search for "sugar industry lies", plenty of facts out there.

  • Sugar avoidance in youth leads to reality avoidance in old age. There's the causation! Maybe.

  • by Yergle143 ( 848772 ) on Friday April 21, 2017 @02:29PM (#54278107)

    This story is probably relevant to /. because I've known many coders who suck down sugar soda or Aspartame soda like no tomorrow. Having followed the dementia research I put it to ya'll that a nice hot cup of tea most probably the best way to a slake thirst and keep those neurons chugging away. A bit of cream or sugar is just fine. There is a growing body of evidence correlating Alzheimers/Dementia to diabetes and metabolic imbalance and our choice of drinks is likely to be a contributing factor. Plus it is so civilized.

  • by irrational_design ( 1895848 ) on Friday April 21, 2017 @02:30PM (#54278117)

    The dementia lead to drinking diet soda, not the other way around.

  • It seems like the artificial sweeteners have been implicated as potential health threats for various reasons over the years. IMO, it's very possible that at least a few of them really do have negative side effects.

    I agree with the people who questioned why you'd drink diet soda anyway? It always has a weird chemical aftertaste. Yes, like most things, you can get used to it after a while. But why bother? There's nothing redeeming, health-wise, about drinking a soda -- so it has no upsides there. Seems like

  • We don't want the price of quality puerh teas to go up because of the unwashed masses revolt.
  • Correlation does not equal causation.

"Your stupidity, Allen, is simply not up to par." -- Dave Mack (mack@inco.UUCP) "Yours is." -- Allen Gwinn (allen@sulaco.sigma.com), in alt.flame

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