Artificially-sweetened sodas can increase the risk of diabetes by 60 per cent, a new research, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, has revealed.
Researchers who examined about 66,000 women found out that those who drank diet fizzy drinks were more likely to develop the disease than those who got used to ‘full fat’ versions.
By the way, it should be noted that the effect is reached as diet drinkers also consume more – on average 2.8 glasses a week compared to 1.6 for regular drinkers.
“Contrary to conventional thinking, the risk of diabetes is higher with ‘light’ beverages compared with ‘regular’ sweetened drinks,” the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) said.
“Information on beverage consumption was not updated during the follow-up, and dietary habits may have changed over time,” researchers said.
“We cannot rule out that factors other than ASB (artificially sweetened beverages)… are responsible for the association with diabetes.”
The news comes a few days after another study was published which suggests that those who mixed vodka with diet soda had breath alcohol concentrations 18% higher than those who mixed alcohol with regular soda.
Study volunteers drank vodka substituted with a diet beverage, vodka mixed with a sugary drink, and a non-alcoholic placebo, reports The New York Daily News.
The study, published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, obviously demonstrated that mixing sugar drinks with diet ones will lead to increasing of blood alcohol levels by up to 18 per cent.
Nutritionist Julie Daniluk told reporters that the results of the study pose a particular concern for young women.
“Young women often have a lower tolerance to alcohol to begin with, and they’re the mostly like to embrace diet Coke,” she said. “They may think they’re under the legal limit and they can drive, when they’d actually blow over on a breathalyzer.”
Daniluk went on, adding that those looking for a sweeter cocktail should better choose juices instead of soda.
“Embrace cranberry and vodka versus rum and Coke,” she said. “Juices are naturally sweet and have some health benefits.”
Dennis L. Thombs, co-author of the study, added: “The best way to think about these effects is that sugar-sweetened alcohol mixers slow down the absorption of alcohol into bloodstream,” he explains.
“Artificially sweetened alcohol mixers do not really elevate alcohol intoxication. Rather, the lack of sugar simply allows the rate of alcohol absorption to occur without hindrance.”
“This is why southern European countries have lower rates of alcoholism despite their increased alcohol intake,” said Petros Levounis, director of the Addiction Institute of New York, who was not involved in the study. “They always drink while eating.”
However, Boris Tabakoff, a professor of pharmacology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, explained that study subjects drank the equivalent of three to four drinks over a five-minute period.
“Few if any bars will serve you a drink that strong,” he said. “If you want to chug your alcohol to the point of consuming the equivalent of three to four drinks in five minutes, you should not worry about calories.”