Diet soda and depression are linked

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Diet soda and depression are linked
This January, Dr Pepper Snapple Group is launching 10-calorie versions of five of its most popular soda brands, including 7UP TEN(R) (pictured), A&W TEN(R), Sunkist(R) TEN(TM) Soda, Canada Dry TEN(R) and RC TEN(R) (Photo: Business Wire)

A study from the National Institutes of Health has found a link between diet soda and depression. Researchers are not sure why the link exists, but they insist that the study does not prove that diet soda causes depression. Instead, it only shows that the two are connected in some way.

“Researchers followed 263,900 people to gather data for the study that spanned more than a decade. It is important to note that the participants were between the ages of 50 and 71. The study revealed a 30 percent increase in depression among the people who had at least four cans of diet soda a day. In addition, diet fruit beverage drinkers seem to fall into the same category. The participants that drank diet fruit drinks had a 51 percent increase of having depression.

“Although the National Institutes of Health insists that the study does not show that diet soda causes depression, the findings are odd. The researchers picked an older group to follow for more than a decade. Will depression show the same link to diet drinks in younger generations? Researchers plan to continue to study this link, but it may be years before new findings are shared with the public. There have been other reports about the link between diet soda and depression. The findings were similar to the ones from the National Institutes of Health.

The diet soda study contrasts greatly with a previous study that found coffee drinkers are less likely to be diagnosed with depression. It has been found that drinking at least four cups of coffee a day leads to a 10 percent reduction in depression. The caffeine in coffee is considered to be responsible for this because it stimulates the brain. Researchers are advising everyone to be careful about all of their beverage choices because a dramatic increase in coffee consumption can be harmful.

“Researchers are being cautious about declaring that depression can be caused by diet drinks. Instead, they are simply pointing out that some type of connection between the two exists. It has often been noted that diet soda can impact your health and mind. A previous study from the Department of Health in Australia found that diet sodas can be linked to depression, anxiety and stress. Even suicidal thoughts were higher among people who drank more diet sodas. The link between mental health and diet beverages will continue to be studied.


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