Study: Drinking two liters of Diet Coke per week poses a risk to the heart Study: Drinking two liters of Diet Coke per week poses a risk to the heart

Study: Drinking two liters of Diet Coke per week poses a risk to the heart

Study: Drinking two liters of Diet Coke per week poses a risk to the heart

A recent study found that drinking 7 or more cans of diet cola per week may increase the risk of heart disease in the long term.

Researchers in China evaluated nearly 200,000 adults in the United Kingdom (who had not previously been diagnosed with heart disease) between 2006 and 2010, when their ages ranged between 37 and 73 years. They then followed their cases over the next 10 years, collecting blood samples to measure their genetic risk of atrial fibrillation.

Participants were also asked to answer a 24-hour questionnaire about their diet between April 2009 and April 2012.

The researchers found that individuals who drank more than two liters (about 7 cans) of artificially sweetened beverages such as “diet soda” per week had a 20% increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) compared to those who did not drink them.

“It was found that younger females consumed artificially sweetened beverages more than males, while male participants consumed sugar-sweetened beverages in greater quantities,” the team wrote.

The team also noted that those who drank sugar-sweetened beverages and pure fruit juice were more likely to have a higher total daily sugar intake than those who drank artificially sweetened beverages.

Dr Ningyan Wang, lead author of the study from Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine in China, said: 'Based on these findings, we recommend that people reduce or even avoid artificially sweetened or sugary drinks whenever possible.'

Wang added: “These new findings on the relationship between the risk of atrial fibrillation and sugar-sweetened beverages and pure juices may prompt the development of new preventive strategies by considering reducing sweetened beverages to help improve heart health. Although the mechanisms linking sweetened drinks and the risk of... "Atrial fibrillation is still unclear, but there are several possible explanations, including insulin resistance and the body's response to different sweeteners."

The disturbing results come months after the World Health Organization considered the artificial sweetener “ aspartame ,” found in Diet Coke, a possible carcinogen.

However, independent experts have raised concerns about the study, noting that the data is short-term and observational only, meaning the reason for the increase in atrial fibrillation cases is unclear.

Gavin Partington, director general of the British Soft Drinks Association, said: “This is observational research that, firstly, cannot prove cause and, secondly, includes data that could be subject to errors in memory or bias from participants. All soft drinks, whatever their ingredients, are safe.” "For consumption as part of a balanced diet, not least fruit juice."

Victoria Taylor, a nutritionist at the British Heart Foundation, said: “As this type of study is observational, it can only show us associations, not causation. We will need more research and different types of studies to get a definitive answer.”

The study was published in the journal Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology.


  1. Diet coke is highly highly injurious to health and must be avoided at any cost.

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