Diet Sodas, Risk Of Stroke And UFO’s

I’ve been concerned about artificial sweeteners and in particular, diet soda for some time.

My reasons are that I drink at least one diet soda a day and I’ve always heard there are some health effects, although I can never get to real solid science that seems to totally pin this down.

I’ve also liked the fact that diet sodas allowed me to substitute one thing for another harmful thing, i.e. a soda with NO sugar for regular sodas with way too much sugar.  The substitution technique is always a good way to make incremental improvements in your life and/or break an existing bad habit.

But when I read about artificial sweeteners I see shocking claims that they cause anything from headaches to various neuropsychiatric disorders, including panic attacks, mood changes, visual hallucinations, manic episodes, and isolated dizziness. Other artificial sweeteners are said to be related to increased cancer risk and heart disease.

Okay, so that doesn’t sound so good, but when I read on, I see phrases like, “anecdotal evidence suggests.”  See what I mean.  That’s not hard science.  After all, anecdotal evidence is all we have for UFO’s as well, although there seems to be about one hundred sightings a year by airline pilots – individuals I would consider pretty credible witnesses.

Or maybe the pilots were all drinking diet sodas and the artificial sweeteners were causing said visual hallucinations.  Hmmm … this may be worth further research.

But that aside for the moment, a new report has just been released stating that diet sodas are linked to an increased risk of stroke.  This comes after the results of a nine-year study of 2500 people over the age of 40 who consumed one or more diet sodas per day.  Hmmm … that’s me – over forty and consuming at least one or more sodas a day.

But the culprit in this study is sodium intake, not artificial sweeteners.  So now I have two things to worry about, apparently.

Reading through the articles further, I come to the same caveats, ifs, buts’ and whatevers when they say “it’s important to note that the leaders of these studies acknowledge the need for more research before drawing any conclusions on the effects of diet soda on human health.”

Just great.  And I might say, not definitive or particularly actionable.  The conclusion is that for the time being, cutting back on sodas is probably not a bad idea anyway.

Okay, somewhat actionable, but it would be nice to get a solid answer on this someday.

In the meantime, I guess I’ll cut out diet sodas for a while.  But I’ll need to find a substitute, and I’m not sure what that is, really.

What do you think about the health effects of diet sodas?  And if you have cut them out, what have you substituted?

Have a healthy, bubble-free day – J. Daniel

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