Is diet soda bad for you? Explicitly, does it help you lose weight?
According to Dr. Axe, the answer is no. Actually, a Purdue scientist suggests public health officials must tell people to avoid this drink much like they do with regular, sugar-sweetened soda. As stated by Susan E. Swithers, Ph.D., a behavioral neuroscientist and a professor of psychological sciences at Purdue – warnings should be expanded to include limiting consumption of all sweeteners, as well as no-calorie sweeteners.
Swithers studied a set of recent research directing to answer the question, “Is diet soda bad for you?” The research showed that around 15% of American children and 30% of adults in the U.S. ingest artificial sweeteners, including saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame.
“There is a lot of pressure from the public health sector to find solutions to counter the rise of obesity and chronic disease, and there is a lot of money and business at stake for the food industry as it develops and promotes these products. Beverages are becoming political issues as government leaders and politicians seek regulation and taxing to limit their availability and consumption, but most of these measures exclude diet soft drinks because they are perceived as healthy. When it comes to making policy decisions, it’s more important than ever that the science is considered and that the public understands what the science says in order to help them make the best health decisions.” – Susan Swithers
Sugar along with the other artificial sweeteners, appear to obscure the natural ability of the body to manage calories based on consuming something sweet. Many people have a tendency to overindulge even if they consume diet soda. And get this: Individuals who consume artificial sweeteners are more prone to develop metabolic syndrome, as well.
Is Diet Soda Bad for You?
Further than that, there various studies linking diet soda consumption to all kinds of health troubles.
- Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes
According to a 2009 study published in the journal Diabetes Care, drinking diet soda every day is associated with a 67% higher risk of type 2 diabetes and a 36% higher risk of metabolic syndrome compared to non-diet soda drinkers.
Actually, the artificial sweeteners could tamper with the brain-gut connection. This can lead to brain trickery which leads to “metabolic derangements”. Moreover, another animal research showed that drinking diet soda may also lead to glucose intolerance.
Consuming more than 4 cans per day of soda is associated with a 30% higher risk of depression. On the other side, drinking 4 cups of coffee per day seemed to have protective effects, reducing the risk of depression by 10%. The risk seemed to be greater for people who consumed diet soda compared to regular soda.
- Kidney Damage
Harvard scientists found long-term diet soda consumption causes a 30% greater decline in kidney function. The research looked at individuals who regularly drank diet soda more than twenty years.
- Compromised Lungs
Consuming soda, as well as diet soda, increases the risk of developing COPD symptoms and asthma. The more soda an individual drink, the greater the risk. (That is known as a “dose-response relationship.”)
As an Australian study showed, 13.3% of surveyed contributors with asthma and 15.6% of those with COPD consumed up to 2 cups of soda every day.
- A Less Protected Brain
A common artificial sweetener in diet soda, called aspartame, appears to chip away at the antioxidant defense system of the brain. The outcomes of an animal research found long-term intake of aspartame leads to an imbalance in the pro-oxidant/antioxidant status in the brain, mostly through the mechanism along with the glutathione-dependent system.
Aspartame is also associated to:
- Hearing loss
- Headaches and migraines
- Multiple sclerosis
- Short term memory loss
- Weight gain
- Brain tumors
- Birth defects
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Chemical sensitivities
- Arthritis (along with rheumatoid)
- Cardiovascular Disease
According to a research conducted by the University of Miami and Columbia University, people who were drinking diet soda daily were more prone to suffer a heart attack or stroke. They were also more prone to die from cardiovascular disease. This upsurge risk remained even when scientists adjusted for high cholesterol, sodium intake, weight, exercise, smoking and other factors that might have contributed to the difference.
So, is diet soda bad for you? The answer is definitely yes. Diet soda isn’t a healthier replacement for regular sugar-sweetened soda. Furthermore, it doesn’t promote weight loss, counter to popular belief.
This soda is associated with weight gain, heart disease, metabolic damage and other health issues.
References: Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov Newswise.com Kidney.org Care.diabetesjournals.org Npr.org Draxe.com Fda.gov