SUNDAY TIMES - Sugary & diet drinks may be bad for your brain
Sunday Times Lifestyle By Claire Keeton, 2017-04-21 14:48:43.0

Sugary & diet drinks may be bad for your brain

People who frequently consume sugary drinks are more likely to have a poorer memory, according to a study published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia.
Image: iStock

A new study involving 4‚000 participants reinforces concerns that drinking sugary beverages like sodas and fruit juices every day risks harming the brain.

People who frequently consume sugary drinks are “more likely to have poorer memory‚ smaller overall brain volumes and smaller hippocampus volumes (an area of the brain important for memory)” the researchers found.

The study also showed that people who drank diet soda daily were almost three times as likely to develop stroke or dementia.

Too much sugar is known to be bad for us but this study provides confirmation that artificially sweetened beverages are linked to cardiometabolic risk factors too.

Researchers suggested caution about consuming sugary or diet drinks but said it was too soon to say their observations on the risk to the brain equalled “cause and effect”.

The findings‚ based on data from the Framingham Heart Study‚ were published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia‚ as well the Stroke journal.

South African scientist Professor Tim Noakes has been vocal about the dangers of sugar to health‚ while the Nutrition Information Centre of the University of Stellenbosch recommends the public use a variety of sweeteners only in moderate amounts. - TMG Digital