Recently there was a study conducted that was the largest of its kind and its aim was to examine the link between diet drinks and the potential cardiovascular issues such as strokes and heart attacks in healthy, postmenopausal women.
The research of this enormous study took place at the University of Iowa, and once the study was completed, the finding were then presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 63rd Annual Scientific Session in Washington, D.C.
A total of 60,000 different women volunteered to participate in the study that was conducted, and there were able to find out that women who consumed at least two or more diet drinks per day were a total of 30% more likely to, unfortunately, experience a cardiovascular event, and a whopping 50% more likely to perish from the related diseases.
These are definitely enormous numbers for what this study was able to uncover. When you use the Bradford Hill criteria to help evaluate the relationship between human health and diet drinks, it then becomes clear that the danger from consuming these drinks is at least worth taking into consideration.
This study helped to create an amazing example of how potentially deadly the unhealthy products that are continually marketed as a “better alternative” and completely safe to consume.
Dr. Ankur Vyas who is in the field of cardiovascular disease at the UI Hospitals and Clinics, and the lead investigator of this study, said that,
“This is one of the largest studies on this topic, and our findings are consistent with some previous data, especially those linking diet drinks to the metabolic syndrome.”
As mentioned earlier, that this study was only able to uncover an association, and with that being stated the researchers aren’t able to state with complete certainty that all diet drinks can cause these types of problems. One example of this similarity is watching an individual eat entirely junk food over the course of a year while another person eats nothing but healthy foods for the same year.
If the individual who consumed only junk food becomes ill, while the other remains strong and healthy, we still wouldn’t be able to say for certain that the junk food was the total cause for the person’s illness.
Bringing back up the Bradford Hill criteria because when you stop to look at this newly published research and a bunch more of other sources, the big picture then becomes a little clearer.
We could look at the studies that link the ingredients that are inside most junk foods and their potential hazards to our health alongside most observational studies just like this one.
For this particular study, the researchers decided to divide the 60,000 study participants into four different consumption groups which were: people two drank two or more diet drinks a day, one to four diet drinks per week, five to seven diet drinks per week and then zero to three diet drinks per month.
After a follow-up of a total of 9 years, there were a multitude of health-related issues such as heart attack, coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, ischemic stroke, coronary revascularization procedure, peripheral arterial disease, and cardiovascular deaths that occurred in a total of 8.5% of all the women who had consumed two or more diet drinks in a single day.
The women who consumed five to seven diet drinks per week were at a percentage of 6.9% while the one to four were at 7.2%. Those who had consumed one to four drinks per week were at a 6.8% while the people who drank zero to three drinks a month were still at a 7.2%.
The study was also tailored to adjust for demographic characteristics and a bunch of different cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking, genetics, sugar-sweetened beverage intake and much more.
The researchers also made sure to emphasize just how much the association between the between cardiovascular problems and diet drinks which raised more questions than it was able to answer, and should be able to stimulate further researches into the relationship between our food and drink intakes versus our health.
Dr. Ankur Vyas goes on to say,
“It’s too soon to tell people to change their behaviour based on this study; however, based on these and other findings we have a responsibility to do more research to see what is going on and further define the relationship if one truly exists. “This could have major public health implications.”
I strongly believe it is high time that we as a whole, conduct multiple clinical studies or even molecular/pharmacologic analyses to see the exact link between diet drinks and heart and body health.