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Most people think that drinking a diet soda is a healthy alternative to regular soda. However, CNN reported that 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. 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. The results reflected that after adjustments for age, sex, education, caloric intake, diet quality, physical activity, and smoking, higher recent and higher cumulative intake of artificially sweetened soft drinks were associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke, all-cause dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease dementia. The study included 1,484 participants over the age of 60.
NBC News spoke with Matthew Pase of the Boston University School of Medicine who led the research. According to Pase, “we found that those people who were consuming diet soda on a daily basis were three times as likely to develop both stroke and dementia within the next 10 years as compared to those who did not consume diet soda.” So are there better options? Water is always a good choice, doctors agree. And of course, there’s coffee. Studies show that people who drink regular, moderate amounts of coffee are less likely to die from a range of diseases, from diabetes to heart disease.