Daily Intake Of Sodas, Fruit Juices, Artificially Sweetened Sodas Could Cause Poorer Memory, Lower Brain Volume

First Posted: Apr 22, 2017 05:00 AM EDT

A new study indicates that higher sugary beverage intake such as sodas, fruit juices and artificially sweetened sodas could affect the brain. These could cause poorer memory and lower the overall brain volumes and hippocampal volumes, which are areas of the brain that are significant for memory.

The findings of the study were printed in the journals Alzheimer's & Dementia and Stroke. The study was led by researchers and investigators from the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) and Boston University of Medicine, according to Medical News Today.

Matthew Pase, Ph.D., the fellow in the department of neurology at the Boston University of Medicine, the corresponding author of the study and the investigator at the FHS, said the findings of the study suggest a link between higher sugary beverage intake and brain atrophy, including brain volume and poorer memory. The scientists also discovered that daily intake of diet soda was nearly three times would likely acquire stroke and dementia compared to those who did not have diet soda intake.

The study involved about 4,000 participants with ages above 30 from the community-based FHS. They were assessed using the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). They also underwent cognitive testing to gauge the relationship between intake and brain volumes including their thinking and memory.

The team also examined 2,888 participants ages 45 and over for stroke. Moreover, the team assessed 1,484 participants with ages 60 and over for dementia for 10 years.

Pase said they discovered that people drinking diet soda were about three times would likely develop stroke and dementia. These include the Alzheimer's disease dementia, which is the most common form of dementia and the higher risk of ischemic stroke, in which blood vessels in the brain become congested.

Experts warn that extra sugar could be harmful to health. High-sugar beverages including diet soda and artificially sweetened beverages are associated with cardiometabolic risk factors. This could heighten the risk of dementia and cerebrovascular disease. Meanwhile, more studies are needed whether artificial sweeteners could affect the brain, according to BU School of Medicine.

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