Study says soft drinks are bad for your brain even diet drinks too

soft drinks
Matthew Pase is lead author, Credit: Cydney Scott

Soft drinks have become vital part of our life. We have any celebration or we want to chill out with friends the soft drinks will be always there. Americans consume 11 billion litres of soft drink per year. India consumes 5.9 billion litres of it every year. And Maxico is on the top of the list.

Now, new research found that excess sugar- especially that used in soft drinks (fructose) might damage your brain. Researchers using data from the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) found that people who drink soft drinks in excess commonly have poorer memory, smaller brain volume and a significantly smaller hippocampus- an area of brain responsible for memory, learning and spatial navigation.

image source: Corbis Images

And if you are thinking that you drink diet drinks then let me tell you that it has almost  three times as likely to develop strokes and dementia compared to those who didn’t.

“These studies are not the be-all and end-all, but it’s strong data and a very strong suggestion,” says Sudha Seshadri, a professor of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine (MED) and a faculty member at BU’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center, who is senior author on both papers. “It looks like there is not very much of an upside to having sugary drinks, and substituting the sugar with artificial sweeteners doesn’t seem to help.”

“Maybe good old-fashioned water is something we need to get used to,” she adds.

Matthew Pase, a fellow in the MED neurology department and an investigator at the FHS who is corresponding author on both papers, says that excess sugar has long been associated with cardiovascular and metabolic diseases like obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, but little is known about its long-term effects on the human brain. He chose to study sugary drinks as a way of examining overall sugar consumption. “It’s difficult to measure overall sugar intake in the diet,” he says, “so we used sugary beverages as a proxy.”

Researchers just demonstrated the correlation between the soft drinks consumption and brain but not cause and effect. If these drinks actually damage the brain then more research is needed to determine how it work and how much damage may be caused by these.



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