Sugary drinks and artificially sweetened beverages are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, suggesting that artificially sweetened beverages may not be a healthy alternative that is often argued for, according to a research paper in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Studies have shown that diets containing sugary drinks can adversely affect the health of the cardiovascular system. Artificially sweetened beverages have been suggested as a healthier alternative, but their effects on cardiovascular health are not fully understood. In this article, researchers examined data from the French group NutriNet-Santé to examine the link between the risk of cardiovascular disease and the consumption of sugary and artificially sweetened beverages.
Records were set for 104,760 participants. They were asked to complete three validated 24-hour web nutrition reports every six months. Artificially sweetened beverages were defined as those containing non-nutritive sweeteners. Sugar drinks consisted of all drinks containing 5% or more sugar. For each beverage category, participants were divided into non-consumers, low consumers and high consumers.
The researchers looked at the first cases of cardiovascular disease during follow-up from 2009 to 2019, which were defined as stroke, transient ischemic attack, myocardial infarction, acute coronary syndrome and angioplasty. After the exclusion of the first three years of the next study in order to take into account the possible reverse causality bias, cases of cardiovascular disease occurred for the first time in 1,379 participants. Compared to non-consumers, both higher consumers of sugary drinks and artificially sweetened beverages had a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, given a number of confusing factors.
In addition to the increased risk of heart health problems, Dr. Eloi Chaselas. The student, lead author of the study and a member of the research team for nutritional epidemiology (Sorbonne University Paris Nord, Inserm, Inra, Kanm) said the study could have additional regulatory implications.
“Our study suggests that artificially sweetened beverages may not be a healthy substitute for sugary drinks. “These data provide additional arguments to fuel the ongoing debate over taxes, labeling and regulation of sugary drinks and artificially sweetened beverages.”
Researchers say a causal link will be needed between sugary and artificially sweetened beverages and cardiovascular disease, replication in large potential groups, and mechanistic studies.
American College of Cardiology.