Can Soft Drinks Influence Risk For Stroke, Heart Attack?

By Dr. Maria Simbra, KDKA Health Editor

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — You may think you’re cutting your risk of stroke and heart attack by switching to diet soda, but you may not be eliminating your risk completely.

Some preliminary data suggests otherwise.

You would think drinking diet soda would lower your risk, but even the low calorie version is linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

It may be related to people filling the calorie void some other way.

“The theory is that people who have diet soda are still craving sweets,” explains Dr. Donald Kushner of St. Clair Hospital’s Wise-About-Weight. “It’s a matter of them substituting one type of sweet for another.”

Based on a two-decade study of more than 2,500 people in northern Manhattan, the risk is 61 percent higher for daily consumers compared to people who don’t drink soda pop at all.

But before you drop the diet and grab the regular, keep the bigger picture in mind.

“Some patients, if they have an increased risk of heart disease or stroke because of their weight, that has to be the priority,” says Dr. Kushner.

As a step to a healthier eating plan, diet sodas can have their place.

“So I would think if you go from regular soda, to diet soda, that’s a step in the right direction, but you shouldn’t stop there. The next step would be to go to something better, like water.”

The study is not yet published, but it’s being presented at a national stroke conference this week.

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  • TJM

    The real story that was missed here is that ALL DIET drinks and most sugar free foods contain ASESULFAME K. ACESULFAME K is a artificial sweetner that tricks your liver into thinking you have sugar in your blood causing it to try and remove it..

    I know that I can not eat anything that has ACESULFAME K in it.. It causes me to have a irregular heartbeat, LOW blood sugar attacks, Feeling weak and dizzy along with the feeling of being shaky.. This also comes with the craving of real sugar to replace what was removed from your body.

    Cost my insurance company alot of money in doctor visits, stress test, eco cardiograms, doplar circulation testing, and MRI brain scans to try and figure out what was causing my long list of problems along with the money I lost from missed work..

    I have done everything I can to avoid this substance yet months later I am still have issues.. HOW DOES THE FDA ALLOW THIS TO BE PUT IN DRINKS, LOW SUGAR CANNED FRUIT, ALL CHEWING GUM, and just about anything with a SUGAR FREE or LOW CALORIE lable on it such as ice cream, yogart, ect ect..

    This substance has also been linked to depression and several mood disorders.. If you are smart you will not allow you child or teenager to consume this as a parent..

    • FixPGH

      Calm down, you are being crazy. You obviously have some sort of illness or disease, but that could be natural, not caused by the conspiracy against this ingredient you are dreaming up.

      • TJM

        There have been multiple other countrys that have attempted to ban this substance from being used in their foods.. If I eat anything that has this in it im sick with in the hour.. Do a little research you will be amazed what you find..

        I have been threw alot of test at the hospital and they all came back negative.. Read the lable on every single pack of chewing gum next time your at the store.. Go read the list on EVERYSINGLE diet soda.. Its in there and trust me it causes hundreds of thousands of people around the country to have problems..

  • Bill Nye

    So because you (one person) experience side effects/ undesirable effects relating to Acesulfame K, the FDA should take it off the market? Some people have a peanut allergy, should we take peanut butter off the market? Should gluten be taken out of all foods and off the market because people have celiac disease? The internet is a valuable daily reminder of how many morons we co-exist wiith in society.

    • TJM

      Do the reading your self.. Then comment.. The things you listed are found naturaly in foods. ACE K is a chemical product produced by a company..

      But like you said. “The internet is a valuable daily reminder of how many morons we co-exist wiith in society” lol

  • MRH

    We try to stay away from all artificial sweeteners too. To each his/her own.

  • Chippy55

    I have been drinking Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi, and Diet Mt. Dew for 40 years and never heard my doctor say don’t drink them.
    I see in the above misleading article that “the theory is people will fill the calorie void some other way.” , and also that they studied 2,500 people in Manhattan. Excuse me but is that the place where Mayor Blooming Idiot can’t get the roads plowed because the workers are sitting in a diner all night? Where a parking space in a garage cost $500 a month? Where the daily commute by hundreds of thousands of people involves trains, subways, taxis, crows of people, and the loony left bans salt and enacts a tax on sliced bagels, and the rent for a studio apartment will get you a mansion in other parts of the country? And they are telling you that a Diet Coke will kill you?
    This is more of the drive-by media throwing something against the wall and hoping it sticks, everything is a crisis when the Liberal media gets involved: population explosion, cutting down the rain forest, too much salt, incandescent light bulbs, too many cars, and on and on. Dr. Maria Simbra should be ashamed of putting her name on the article. .

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  • TJM

    From the independant researched used in the 2004-current class action law suit filed against NutraSweet..

    This current lawsuit seeks redress for the Defendants’ unlawful acts of knowingly and intentionally using the neurotoxic Aspartame (witch is used with acesulfame potassium) as a sugar substitute, while knowing that exposure to Aspartame causes among other diseases/symptoms: abdominal pain, arthritis, asthma, brain cancer, breathing difficulties, burning eyes or throat, burning urination, chest pains, chronic cough, chronic fatigue, death, depression, diarrhea, headaches/migraines, hearing loss, heart palpitations, hives (urticaria), hypertension, impotency and sexual problems, memory loss, menstrual problems or changes, nausea or vomiting, slurring of speech, tremors, tinnitus, vertigo and/or vision loss. The lawsuit also states, “Further, Aspartame disease mimics symptoms or worsens the following diseases: Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Lupus, Diabetes and diabetic complications, Epilepsy, Alzheimer’s Disease, birth defects, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lymphoma, Lyme Disease, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Panic Disorder, Depression and other psychological disorders.”

    Look I never speak out about these things. But if I don’t on this I will not feel right as a human..

    People should atleast have the information and then choose what they want to do..

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