Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Thinking Twice About Diet Sodas

Many people down multiple diet sodas daily to avoid gaining weight, stay full between meals and get a caffeine-induced energy boost.  For many years, many people have seen diet sodas as the perfect way to get what they want without all of the sugar and calories.  But, these drinks may be causing more damage than we realize.  If you're an avid diet soda drinker, I strongly encourage you to read this great article by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.:  Diet Soda Depletes Calcium and May Increase Heart Attack Risk. 

For those of you who want the cliff notes version, here it is:
  • Studies show that Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) concentrations rise strongly after drinking diet soda.  PTH increases blood calcium levels by releasing calcium from our bones.  Over time this can greatly affect bone mineral density.
  • Women who drink diet soda excrete more calcium in their urine than those who don't.
  • The intense sweetness of artificial sweeteners may confuse the body and lead to increased appetite and weight gain.
  • Diet soda consumption has also recently been linked to kidney disfunction and an increased risk for heart attack and stroke.
The bottom line:  An occasional diet soda is probably fine, but regular, high intake may be problematic.