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Study Finds Chronic Diet Soda Drinking May Lead To Strokes And Dementia

Photo by Quinn Dombrowski.

We all know that sugar-laden sodas like Coke and Pepsi aren’t exactly the best thing for your health. Turns out the diet versions of those sodas may not be either.

A new study out of the American Heart Association’s scientific journal, Stroke, found that people who drink diet soda daily are three times more likely to experience a stroke or dementia.

Over 4,000 total subjects were evaluated over ten years for their consumption of both sugary and diet beverages for development of dementia or stroke. While diet soda consumption did show an association with a higher risk of stroke and dementia, sugary beverages did not.

While the authors didn’t postulate as to why this was the case, it is possible that some of the compounds in artificial sweeteners have long-term effects on heart and brain health that toxicological studies conducted to greenlight the usage of these ingredients in beverages wouldn’t have picked up. FDA guidelines for the longest type of toxicity testing set the minimum at one year, and conducting these studies tends to be expensive. The study in Stroke was conducted over 10 years with subjects who were at least 45 years old. That leaves plenty of room for the symptoms of stroke and dementia to develop in a time frame not monitored by studies conducted in the sweeteners’ approval processes.

Of course, with these studies, it’s important to note that cause and effect cannot be established. The American Beverage Association (ABA) definitely made that clear in their statement blasting the study.

“Low-calorie sweeteners have been proven safe by worldwide government safety authorities as well as hundreds of scientific studies and there is nothing in this research that counters this well-established fact. The FDA, World Health Organization, European Food Safety Authority and others have extensively reviewed low-calorie sweeteners and have all reached the same conclusion – they are safe for consumption.

While we respect the mission of these organizations to help prevent conditions like stroke and dementia, the authors of this study acknowledge that their conclusions do not – and cannot – prove cause and effect. And according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), many risk factors can increase an individual’s likelihood of developing stroke and dementia including age, hypertension, diabetes and genetics. NIH does not mention zero calorie sweeteners as a risk factor.”

While the ABA doesn’t address the issue that the reviews from the FDA and other cited organizations aren’t as long-term as this study, it’s important to take note of this. Maybe studies like these will inspire the FDA to require studies over a more extensive time period to identify whether dementia or stroke can actually be caused by chronic diet soda consumption.

Until then, it’s perfectly fine to exercise caution and lay off the diet soda for a while.

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Health

Science Says THREE Glasses Of Champagne Can Prevent Alzheimer’s And Dementia

Champagne-Stk

We’ve been telling everyone for years how alcohol can be good for your health. OK, maybe not if you’re constantly pounding beers. However, a new study shows that a few glasses of champagne a week can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

According to the Mirror, a group of researchers from Reading University attribute the health benefits of champagne to the chemical compounds in grapes. The fruits used to make champagne can help boost memory and battle illness.

Pinot noir and pinot meunier were tested on rats which yielded significant health benefits in the rodents. Professor Jeremy Spencer, of Reading, told the Mail that the testing had dramatic results.

Unfortunately, three glasses of champagne a week might be too expensive for the average consumer looking to battle Alzheimer’s and dementia. Though we don’t really know yet if brands matter when it comes to health.

Luckily, a spokesperson for the Alzheimer’s Society says it’s still a while before the celebratory alcoholic beverage can actually be turned into medicine. Until then, we’ll have to stick to recreational drinking.

If you ever need any ideas on how to open that champangne bottle, here are ten.

 

 

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Products

When Her Grandmother Was Diagnosed With Alzheimer’s, She Created This Brilliant Dining Set

Eat-Well-Set

When designer Sha Yao’s late grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, the young designer felt helpless and wanted to do more for her loved one. Yao spent time volunteering in senior care facilities that care for patients of Alzheimers and other impairing conditions.

Her time volunteering led her to create the Eat Well dining set.

The purpose of the Eat Well set is to increase food intake, maintain dignity for those using the product and make caring burdens as easy as possible.

Eat Well boasts 20 features in a set. This includes user-friendly designs that make scooping food as easy as possible, spill-proof cups and bright colors to help increase appetites.

The set is fully-funded on Indigogo and can be pre-ordered now.

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Health

Beer Hops May Prevent Alzheimer’s, Study Shows

Too much beer in one night may mess with your memory, but scientists are finding that beer drinking can potentially help you out in the long run.

A new study published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry unearths the protective properties the compound xanthohumol (Xn), commonly found in hops, has on our brains. While the antioxidative properties of wine have been hailed in the medical community for years, this discovery is part of a new wave of research about the positive effects of beer on our health.

Oxidative damage is an imbalance between your body’s production of free radicals and its ability to counteract their harmful effects (this is where antioxidants are helpful). Such damage to brain cells contributes to the progression of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Researchers at Lanzhou University discovered that Xn protected brain cells from lab-induced oxidative stress…in rats.

While new findings like this don’t always pan out as the research moves up the evolutionary line, the fact that a new function was revealed in a fairly commonplace compound could lend Xn to more complex uses in the future.

In the meantime, feel free to cite this article as an enabler for your alcoholism.

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Health

Here’s Scientific Proof that Microwave Popcorn May Actually Blow up Your Brain

If you needed another reason (besides the heat) to watch movies in theatres instead of at home, here it is: a recent study by scientists at the University of Minnesota suggests that the artificial butter flavoring used in microwave popcorn may also cause Alzheimer’s disease.

The flavorant in question, called “diacetyl,” is responsible for the buttery smell and texture in several foods including margarine, pet food and some wine, and has been previously shown to cause lung damage. As detailed by CBS, the U of M study discovered “that [diacetyl] has a structure that’s similar to a substance that makes beta-amyloid proteins,” which are a key component of the amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer’s.

As of yet, the results have not been duplicated in living subjects, only test tubes, but experiments have shown that even in low concentrations, diacetyl can cross the blood-brain barrier, meant to prevent toxins from entering the brain, and can also inhibit the brain’s natural ability to clear away beta-amyloid.

Granted, science has still yet to pinpoint the exact cause of the terrible disease, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Besides, doesn’t real butter taste better anyway?

Read the abstract for yourself here.

[Via CBS, Web MD]

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Hit-Or-Miss

New Research Links Fast Food to Alzheimer's

Though not exactly pro-food, news of a 9-month research initiative from Swedish scientists have made claims that excessive fast food consumption may have a positive connection to Alzheimer’s. The researchers examined the brains of mice to conclude:

We now suspect that a high intake of fat and cholesterol in combination with genetic factors … can adversely affect several brain substances, which can be a contributory factor in the development of Alzheimer’s.

Though the research and results are fairly fresh, this is just one of those of periodic reminders to eat with moderation. For more information on this research, feel free to follow through to the Reuters article. Eat on!