10 Warning Signs Your Heart Isn't Working Properly
Diet Soda Ups Your Heart Attack Risk?
When we heard about the new study linking diet soda to heart disease, we thought we had another concrete reason for laying off the diet stuff. And don't get us wrong, we're not fans of diet soda (particularly given these 7 gross side effects of drinking diet soda), but it turns out we can't add this latest headline to our list of reasons to avoid the fake sweet stuff—yet, anyway.
According to the study, healthy women in their early 60’s who drank a couple of diet beverages a day were 30% more likely to have a heart attack, and 50% more likely to die from heart-related disease than women who rarely sip diet drinks. But there's a little more to the story, says lead study author Ankur Vyas, MD, a fellow at Cardiovascular Diseases at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He’ll present his findings on Sunday, March 30, at the American College of Cardiology’s 63rd Annual Scientific Session in Washington, DC.
Turns out, when you do the math, the results aren’t quite as scary as they first appear. Of the 2,985 women who drank two or more diet drinks per day, 254 had heart problems, compared to 2,745 out of 38,337 women who drank 0 to 3 diet drinks per month. That's not exactly what researchers call "statistically significant," meaning there's a chance that this link is simply due to coincidence.
“We can’t tell you to change your diet beverage drinking habits yet, based on this study,” says Vyas. “But we can say that we need more research to see whether or not they really do help promote heart disease.”
If further research does reveal a conclusive link between diet soda and heart disease, one explanation could be that artificial sweeteners may trick your body into consuming more calories than you need, Vyas says, increasing the chances of weight gain and obesity. And that connection—that super-sweet diet drinks make you crave even more sweets—is something previous research has already shown.
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