Soda Drinking Linked to Increased Stroke Risk

Reported by: Lauren Gawthrop
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Updated: 4/25/2012 8:20 am
A warning for soda drinkers: you may be increasing your overall stroke risk with every gulp. A new study links both diet and regular soda to a higher stroke risk.

Dr. Adam Bernstein is an expert on preventive medicine at Cleveland Clinic's Wellness Institute and authored the study. The doctor and his team of researchers studied more than 127,000 soda-drinking men and women for nearly 30 years.

They found an association between those who drank more sugar-sweetened and low-calorie sodas, and stroke. Researchers think the sugar may lead to glucose intolerance and inflammation, which influence atherosclerosis and plaque stability- both risk factors for stroke.

The association between diet sodas and stroke risk is not as clear-cut. Dr. Bernstein says more studies are needed to shore-up the link, but he says you still may want to start looking for other beverage options, like coffee.

"Taking sugar sweetened or low-calorie soda out of the diet and replacing it with caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee conferred about a 10 percent reduction in stroke risk," said Dr. Bernstein.

Dr. Bernstein says they saw similar results with skim milk. He says coffee contains compounds that act as anti-oxidants. Complete findings for this study are in the "Journal of Clinical Nutrition."
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