Many say a healthy diet is the path to a healthy life, but one kind of diet might not be helping much. Diet sodas. While the consumption of their sugary counterparts does contribute to 184,000 deaths each year, using the diet alternatives to cut out sugar might not be the right call. The American Heart Association’s Journal published a study linking the artificially sweetened drinks to higher risks of stroke and dementia. Compared to never drinking diet sodas, those who had one a day were three times as likely to be diagnosed with dementia, and those who had one to six a week were 2.6 times as likely to experience an ischemic stroke. The lesson here… just stick to high quality H2O [Warning: stupid Adam Sandler GIF]
Which would be worse, your doctor demands you change your eating habits or prescribes a medication that increases your risk of stroke? For those still resisting lifestyle changes in favor of drugs, tune in to this: a popular category of heartburn medications called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) has been linked to a 21% greater risk of stroke. A study of 245,000 patients who had an endoscopy showed that within 6 years of follow-up, 9,500 patients had their first ischemic stroke. Researchers controlled for other risk factors, investigated their medications and found patients on the highest dose of PPIs had a stroke risk from 30% for lansoprazole to 94% for pantoprazole. Add that to PPIs’ links to dementia and heart attacks and then reconsider fatty foods and large portion sizes.
Resveratrol, a naturally-occurring phenol produced by some plants, such as grapes, blueberries, and cocoa, has been on scientists’ radar for some time due to its potential therapeutic value. The molecule has been studied for its impact on cancers and cardiovascular health, as well as antidiabetic and anti-aging effects, in part because of resveratrol’s impact on inflammation. In many therapeutic areas, results in human trials are still pending. However, recent studies of Alzheimer’s patients have shown that individuals who took resveratrol had levels of amyloid-beta40 that remained stable whereas the placebo group’s levels dropped. Unlikely to be a treatment on its own, resveratrol is helping to guide additional research. Now, pour yourself a glass of wine and have some chocolate—for your brain’s sake.