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Drinking artificially sweetened beverages is associated with a higher risk of stroke and dementia

Diet soda may also increase risk of type 2 diabetes

CNN  — 

President Donald Trump downs a dozen Diet Cokes each day, The New York Times reported this weekend. His love of the bubbly beverage is shared by many Americans and at least one of his predecessors. President Bill Clinton was frequently photographed with a can in his hand and reportedly placed a Diet Coke – along with a now-outdated cell phone and other items – in a time capsule at his official presidential library.

So, what happens to those who drink a dozen cans daily of the caramel-colored elixir, which contains a blend of the sweetener aspartame and artificial and natural flavors, among other ingredients?

Some research suggests that artificially sweetened drinks can increase one’s appetite and the desire for sweets. This effect was linked to aspartame, the most frequently used sweetener in diet beverages, which generates a similar response in the body as sugar. Just 30 minutes after drinking either a diet soda containing aspartame or the same amount of regular soda (with sucrose), the body reacts with similar concentrations of glucose and insulin.

From a scientific perspective, this finding is suggestive but “not very strong,” said Susan Swithers, a professor of psychological sciences at the Purdue University College of Health and Human Sciences.

She sees aspartame’s effects as “teasing” the body.