Boston University Researchers Find Link Between Brain Damage And Excess Sugar In Soda [Video]

APRIL 22, 2017

A new study by Boston University has shown that excess sugar, particularly those found in sugary drinks, can cause brain damage. The U.S. Department of Agriculture noted that Americans consumed about 11 million metric tons last year.

The researchers used data from the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) and discovered that people who often consume sugary drinks have higher chances of experiencing poorer memory. It was also found that they have a smaller overall brain volume and a smaller hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that helps with learning and memory.

Moreover, Science Daily reported that a follow-up study showed that people who drank diet sodas daily had the highest chances of developing stroke and dementia. These findings were published in the journals "Alzheimer's & Dementia" and "Stroke."

In the first study, the researchers studied data such as magnetic resolution imaging (MRI) scans and cognitive testing results of about 4,000 people enrolled in FHS' Offspring and Third-Generation cohorts. They looked at people who consumed more than two sugary drinks a day. This could be any type such as soda, fruit juice and other soft drinks.

They were labeled as the "high intake" group and had multiple signs of brain aging, including smaller overall brain volume. They also had poorer episodic memory and a shrunken hippocampus.

With the second study, the researchers aimed to find out whether participants had suffered a stroke or have been diagnosed with dementia due to Alzheimer's disease. There was no correlation between sugary beverage intake and stroke or dementia. They did find that people who drank at least one soda per day were three times more likely to develop stroke and dementia.

According to NBC News, Matthew Pase of the Boston University School of Medicine, who led the study, said that their study provided further evidence to link consumption of artificially sweetened beverages with the risk of stroke. They were the first to find an association between daily intake of sugary drinks and an increase of both all-cause dementia due to Alzheimer's disease.

ARTICLE PROVIDED BY: University Herald Reporter

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Research Links Diet Sodas To Stroke, Dementia

April 24, 2017 02:51 AM EDT

Diet sodas are prescriptions for stroke and dementia, according to a new study conducted by researchers from the School of Medicine of Boston University. The study shows that the consumption of a single can of diet soda every day increases the risk of stroke three times. People who consume these artificially-sweetened drinks are also at risk of developing Alzheimers or Dementia, although such risks are insignificant compared to the risk of suffering from a stroke.

Researchers studied the drinking habits of over 4,000 people for ten years and discovered that the word diet on a drink alone does not connote what it actually means, according to Fox News. On the contrary, drinking at least one diet soda daily puts one three times more at risk of experiencing stroke or dementia compared to those who do not drink the beverage as often. The study, published with the American Heart Association journal "Stroke", is the first one that reported the link between diet sodas and the risk of getting stroke and dementia. Dieters prefer beverages with artificial sweeteners because they do not have calories. However, these drinks make use of different sweeteners like Aspartame and Saccharine that are several times sweeter than sugar and can lead to type 2 diabetes.
"A lot of people assume they must be healthy choices because they are not sugared beverages, but the critical thing for people to understand is we don't have the evidence," Professor Susan Swithers of the Purdue University in the United States said.
Experts, however, cautioned consumers about interpreting the research findings, according to CNN. After all, it only focused on the association, but not the cause and effect relationship between diet sodas and health risks like stroke and dementia. Lead author Matthew Pase admitted more research has to be done to establish a direct connection on the intake of diet soda and its effects on the health.
In a statement, American Beverage Association spokeswoman Lauren Kane said government safety authorities all over the world including the World Health Organization have proven the safety of the low-calorie sweeteners used in diet sodas. She said the study conclusions has not proven a cause and effect relationship. The statement also indicated that the National Institutes of Health has identified many factors that can increase stroke and dementia including hypertension, genetics and age.

Low Vitamin D Linked to Cognitive Decline


Low Vitamin D Linked to Cognitive Decline

Vitamin D has long been thought to protect against loss and damage of the brain’s neurons, and new research confirms that idea.*
A study from Duke University has found an association between low levels of vitamin D and an increased risk of impairment and cognitive decline in elderly subjects.
More than 1,200 participants 60 years or older from the Chinese Longitudinal Health Longevity Survey were involved in the first large-scale prospective research in Asia. Baseline vitamin D levels were measured at the beginning of the study and cognitive abilities were observed over the next two years.
The results showed that those with lower vitamin D were about twice as likely to show significant indications of cognitive decline over the course of the study. Participants’ gender and specific age had no bearing on the results.
Editor’s Note: This study should prompt further research into the precise mechanism by which vitamin D protects neurons, as it could lead to the discovery of treatments and interventions to fight the growing rate of cognitive decline seen in the elderly.

Broad-Spectrum Health Benefits* Vitamin D3

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