Sugary soft drinks are killing your brain — and diet versions are even worse!
Two new studies done by the same team of Boston University researchers revealed a “very strong suggestion” that not only do sugary soft drinks shrink the human brain and reduce memory capacity but sugar-free versions lead to higher chances of stroke and dementia.
“There is not very much of an upside to having sugary drinks, and substituting the sugar with artificial sweeteners doesn’t seem to help,” said Sudha Seshadri, a BU professor of neurology and senior author of both studies.
The findings will affect, well, pretty much everyone; Americans consumed 24 billion pounds of sugar last year, most of it in drinks, federal statistics show.
And it doesn’t matter if you stick to just diet soda or drink an array of sugar-packed beverages.
In the fist study, the researchers discovered that, across the board, sugary drinks led to smaller brains, poor memory and a small hippocampus — a key learning center in the brain — all signs of early stage Alzheimer’s.
The second study found that people who drank at least a diet soda per day were almost three times as likely to develop stroke and dementia.
That surprising result will need more study to “figure out the underlying mechanisms” of how artificial sweeteners ruin your brain, said Matthew Pase, a co-author of the studies.
“Maybe good old-fashioned water is something we need to get used to,” added his co-author Seshadri.