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Diet Coke is not linked to diabetes, according to study

Its often been thought that regularly drinking sugary carbonated soft drinks and sodas increases the risk of developing diabetes. However, researchers...

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|Apr 25|magazine8 min read

It’s often been thought that regularly drinking sugary carbonated soft drinks and sodas increases the risk of developing diabetes.

However, researchers at Harvard University have found that this is not the case with Diet Coke and other artificially sweetened drinks, tea or coffee.

The scientists noted that although diet soda was not the healthiest of alternatives to regular full-fat drinks, moderate consumption of diet drinks would not have any significant side effects.

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Previous studies have shown that people who regularly drink low-fat versions of soft drinks are more likely to suffer from diabetes than those who shun both regular and diet beverages.

However, the new findings – which have been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition – have shown that the link is actually due to other factors, such as being overweight.

Drinking coffee on a daily basis, both caffeinated and decaffeinated, was linked to lower rates of diabetes.

It is thought that could be attributed to the high levels of antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals that can be found in coffee.

As part of the research 40,000 men were studied over a period of 20 years. They were questioned about various lifestyle choices, including their drink consumption.

Seven per cent of men were diagnosed with diabetes during the study, and those that drank full-fat sodas were 16 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than those who didn’t drink those types of beverages at all.

Although the men who drank diet sodas during the study were also had a higher chance of developing diabetes, it wasn’t as high as those who chose the regular soda versions.

However, when these results were coupled with the men’s weight, cholesterol and blood pressure, it was found that drinking diet sodas didn’t raise their chance of diabetes.

Rebecca Brown is an endocrinologist at the National Institutes of Health, and although she wasn’t involved in the recent research, she has often studied the effect of artificial sweeteners. She said: “People who are at risk of diabetes or obesity... Those may be the people who are more likely to choose artificial sweeteners because they may be more likely to be dieting.”

She also pointed out that despite there still being some health concerns over artificial sweeteners none have been scientifically proven.

“I certainly think that we have better evidence that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages increases health risks,” she said.

“Certainly reducing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption by any means, including substitution with diet drinks, is probably a good thing.”