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Soft drinks and lemonades are so harmful to health

Soft drinks with artificial sweeteners have long been considered unhealthy. As a long-term study by the WHO has confirmed, the consumption of diet and zero-drinks also increases the risk of serious illnesses.

The shocking result of a study by the World Health Organization (WHO): soft drinks with artificial sugar additives and also sugary drinks can drastically increase the risk of a heart attack and even lead to death. In a long-term study with over 450,000 participants, researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) tested over 16 years how excessive consumption of diet drinks affects health.

Coca-Cola, Fanta and Co: Higher risk of death from soft drinks with sugar substitutes

The results were published in the US journal "JAMA Internal Medicine". The study shows that soft drinks with sugar substitutes in particular drastically increase the risk of heart disease - with two glasses a day even by 50 percent.

A total of 451,743 people from ten European countries were surveyed and observed about their diet and lifestyle. During that time, 41,693 subjects died, including 9.3 percent of those who drank less than one soft drink per month and 11.5 percent of those who drank two or more 8-ounce glasses per day.

According to the study, soft drinks containing sugar are also unhealthy and increase the risk of death from gastrointestinal or cardiovascular diseases.

Light drinks as stroke risk

At an International Stroke Conference of the American Stroke Association in Los Angeles, research was presented, according to which the passion for diet sodas can drastically increase the risk of vascular diseases and especially strokes. This emerges from the Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS) with 2564 participants.

According to the German Society for Nutrition (dge), sweeteners are "synthetically produced or natural compounds that serve as an energy-free sugar substitute. Their use is intended to improve the taste quality of sugar-free or energy-reduced foods."

Whether artificially sweetened drinks are harmful to health has long been a matter of debate. The dge sees in sweeteners a helpful means of reducing energy intake, but attention must be paid to health safety. According to the current US study, this is apparently not the case with sweetened soft drinks.

50 percent increase in cardiovascular disease as a cause of death

When examining the individual causes of death in the study participants, the researchers found that the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease was even increased by half. The risk of gastrointestinal disease was also increased when consuming soft drinks with added sugar.

A study from Anglia Ruskin University agrees: "There are many concerns about the consumption of artificial sweeteners, with some studies showing that sweeteners can affect the layer of bacteria that supports the gut, known as the gut microbiota ", says study leader Dr. Havovi Chichger in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

The commonly used sweeteners saccharin, sucralose and aspastartame can make intestinal bacteria pathogenic. This means that your own intestinal bacteria invade and damage the intestines. The result is infections, sepsis and multi-organ failure, says Chichger.

Increased risk of cancer from sweeteners

French nutritional epidemiologist Mathilde Touvier is also researching the effects of artificial sweeteners on cancer risk. To do this, Touvier's team compares the data on medical history and nutrition from the NutriNet-Santé study with information from cancer diagnoses.

Of the more than 100,000 adults who have participated in the NutriNet-Santé study since 2009, approximately 3,300 have been diagnosed with cancer. Almost 600 people affected also consumed artificial sweeteners to an increased extent.

Touvier's research shows that excessive consumption of sweeteners can lead to an average 13 percent increased risk of cancer. In particular, the risk of breast, colon and stomach cancer could be increased.

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