Say It Isn’t So: Diet Sodas May Be Linked to Metabolic Syndrome

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By: Linda von Wartburg

Drinking one soft drink a day, diet or not, is associated with a 44percent increased likelihood of developing metabolic syndrome, thatunwelcome conglomeration of conditions that puts you at risk of type2 diabetes, heart attack, and stroke.

At least, those were thefindings of researchers who analyzed four years of data from over6,000 Bostonians in the Framingham Heart Study.

In the face of comments that the findings make no sense, from Dr.Dean Ornish as well as the president of the American BeverageAssociation, lead researcher Dr. Ramachandran Vasan hypothesizedthat the caramel coloring in diet soft drinks may promoteinflammation and insulin resistance.

Or, perhaps, the sugary tasteof diet drinks conditions people to prefer other sweetened foods. Hesaid, however, that the study did compensate for saturated and transfat intake, smoking, and lack of physical activity. Nevertheless, asignificant association of diet soda with metabolic syndrome wasstill found. As usual, more research has been called for.

Sources: Circulation, July 2007
Bloomberg.com

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