When Americans began to understand the dangers of unlimited sugar consumption, many people turned away from sugared soft drinks to diet soda. Now research has demonstrated that aspartame, the primary sweetener used in diet soda, is one of the most dangerous food additives currently in use. It is known to cause seizures and many other health issues. As this news comes to light, demand for and sales of diet sodas have plunged.
One newly-released study was conducted by the University of Iowa, and is the largest of its kind. The study followed 60,000 women over a period of ten years. It proved that women who drink two or more diet sodas daily have much higher rates of cardiovascular disease.
The researchers concluded that “compared to women who never or rarely consume diet drinks, those who consume two or more a day are 30 percent more likely to have a cardiovascular event (heart attack or stroke) and 50 percent more likely to die from related disease.” Dr. Ankur Vyas, the lead investigator on the study, also said their findings were consistent with previous research, including those linking diet drinks to Metabolic Syndrome.
Dr. Vyas said the data were consistent even after researchers adjusted for demographic characteristics and other cardiovascular risk factors such as body mass index, hormone therapy use, smoking, physical activity, salt intake, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and intake of beverages sweetened with sugar.
Women who drank two or more diet drinks daily were generally younger, more likely to be smokers, and had higher rates of diabetes, hypertension and higher body mass indices.
Soda sales have already been slipping. According to Time Magazine, one reason for the decline appears to be a growing concern about the obesity epidemic in the United States, and health concerns about sugar-sweetened drinks. According to Reuters, experts in the beverage industry say it is contracting under the scrutiny of soft drinks in general.
Natural health experts are hopeful the movement away from artificial sweeteners such as aspartame will reactivate interest in healthy natural sweeteners. Stevia and xylitol are both good alternatives.
Another healthy side effect of the overall drop in sales of soda is the fact fewer people are being exposed to high fructose corn syrup. This sweetener is made from corn, most of which is genetically modified. High fructose corn syrup carries a whole array of other health risks.