Volume 5, Issue 34 August 23, 2012
Common beverage increases
your stroke risk by 16%
Just about everyone knows that drinking soft drinks on any kind of a regular basis is not the healthiest thing you can do. Several studies have made it clear that drinking sugar-sweetened soda increases the chance of having a heart attack or stroke. But what about sugar-free soda? Surely that must be better.

Well a surprising study says no. The researchers in this study found that drinking only one soft drink a day, no matter what kind it is, significantly increases your risk of having a stroke.

The researchers, from the Wellness Institute of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, looked at the drinking habits of 84,085 women over 28 years and 43,371 men over 22 years. During that time, there were 1,416 strokes in the men and 2,938 strokes in women.

When they compared the people who drank one soft drink or more per day to those who did not drink soft drinks, they discovered a huge risk. Those who consumed soft drinks had a 16% greater chance of having a stroke. But here’s the kicker.

The risk was identical whether or not the soft drink was sugar-free or not.

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It sure is easy to get into the habit of drinking sodas. They taste so good, and they are so readily available. Everybody knows that drinking purified water instead of tap water is important. But when you are at the grocery store, it’s too easy to pick up some sodas along with the water. And it’s even easier to order a soft drink with lunch instead of something healthy.

The problem is the final payoff.

So what should you do? Obviously, don’t drink soft drinks with any regularity. Instead, look for better options. In this study, even drinking a cup of coffee, decaffeinated or not, had no risk when compared to soft drinks. So drink some coffee, tea, or water to wet your whistle – and avoid a stroke.

Finding your Real Cures,

Frank Shallenberger, MD

Bernstein AM, de Koning L, Flint AJ, et al. “Soda consumption and the risk of stroke in men and women.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 May;95(5):1190-9. Epub 2012 Apr 4.

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