A new study shows an association between diet soda and both stroke and dementia, with people drinking diet soda daily being almost three times as likely to develop stroke and dementia as those who consumed it weekly or less.
“This included a higher risk of ischemic stroke, where blood vessels in the brain become obstructed and Alzheimer’s disease dementia, the most common form of dementia,” said Matthew Pase, a Boston University School of Medicine neurologist and the lead author of the study published in the journal Stroke.
While emphasizing that the research did not show causation, only a correlation, Pase said in a video explaining the study that diet drinks “might not be a healthy alternative.”
The study, described only as a hypothesis by its lead author was surrounded by caveats. While the risk was greater, the absolute numbers were low. “In our study,” the lead author said, ” three percent of the people had a new stroke and five percent developed dementia, so we’re still talking about a small number of people developing either stroke or dementia.”