July 15, 2013 @ 11:04 PM

by Cliff Smith

Diet Soft DrinkDiet soft drinks contribute to diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, obesity and other health problems that can lead to serious illness, and ultimately, an early death.  These health challenges are revealed in a new study by researchers at Purdue University examining 40 years of effects from artificial sweeteners and diet sodas.

This study follows a 2012 report that found drinking a diet soft drink every day can lead to strokes and heart disease.  Also, a 2010 study linked diet soda with a risk of preterm delivery for pregnant women. A report in General Dentistry found that continual consumption of diet soft drinks can destroy teeth as much as crystal meth.

Susie Swithers is a Purdue University Professor who reviewed several recent reports to see whether diet soft drinks raise the chances that a person will gain weight or develop other health concerns. “Are diet sodas worse for you than regular sodas? I think that's the wrong question," said Swithers, who is also a member of Purdue's Ingestive Behavior Research Center. “It's, 'What good are sodas for you in the first place?'”

Research indicating that diet soda might not be healthy has been around for 25 years or more, but consumption of these drinks has reached epic proportions. The studies included drinks containing aspartame, sucralose and saccharin. About 30 percent of American adults regularly consume these sweeteners.

Swithers, whose laboratory research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, published her findings in the journal “Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism”. She points out that the artificial sweeteners in diet soft drinks can alter the body’s normal response to sugar.  This leads to the types of abnormal blood sugar levels typically associated with diabetes.

Drinking just one diet soda per day is "enough to significantly increase the risk for health problems," according to the report. It explains that diet soda and artificial sweeteners trick the body into thinking it is consuming sugar even though it isn't, which could lead to metabolic confusion and overconsumption.

The fake sugar essentially tricks your body into thinking you’re taking in the calories associated with the sweet taste. But that means the body doesn’t know how to process real sugar—and fails to release the hormone that controls blood sugar and blood pressure.

***Source: Diet Soda Health Risks: Study Says Artificial Sweeteners May Cause Weight Gain, Deadly Diseases

The New York Daily Times reported it this way: Swithers says that when something sweet is consumed, the body gets ready for calories and sugar. However, when that doesn't happen — because the sweetener is artificial — the body reacts again, learning that sweet doesn't necessarily mean calories. Then, when a diet soda drinker eats something sugary, the body doesn't react properly, Swithers said. Another possibility is that people who drink diet soft drinks think they are being health conscious, so they splurge with a piece of cake — replacing the calories they just avoided, Swithers said.

Calli TeaThese days, when there are so many options for somewhat healthier choices than soft drinks, it is baffling to experts why anyone still consumes these killers. While they may be associated with good times like parties and sporting events, soft drinks are not good for the body, and are totally unnecessary now that we have healthy flavorful drinks available right now online.

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