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Sweetened Drinks Associated with Increased Depression Risk

Aspartame in Diet Soda

Story at-a-glance -

  • Preliminary study findings report that drinking sweetened beverages – whether they’re sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners – is associated with an increased risk of depression.
  • Those who drank more than four cans or glasses of diet soda or other artificially sweetened beverages had a nearly 30 percent higher risk of depression compared to those who did not consume diet drinks. Regular soda drinkers had a 22 percent increased risk.
  • Potential mechanisms through which sugar intake could exert a toxic effect on mental health include causing insulin and leptin resistance; suppressing activity of a key hormone called BDNF, which are critically low in depressed patients; and promoting chronic inflammation, which is thought to be a primary cause of depression.
  • Previous studies have also shown that aspartame has a detrimental effect on brain function, neurological, cognitive, and behavioral health.

By Dr. Mercola

Foods have an immense impact on your body and your brain, and eating whole foods as described in my nutrition plan is the best way to support your mental and physical health.


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