Regularly quaffing sugar-sweetened, low-calorie sodas is likely to spike risk of a stroke, but intake of caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee seems to lower it, a study reveals.
The study is the first to examine soda`s effect on stroke (when brain is deprived of blood supply) risk. Previous research has linked sugar-sweetened beverage consumption with weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gout and coronary artery disease.
`Soda remains the largest source of added sugar in the diet,` said Adam Bernstein, study author and research director at Cleveland Clinic`s Wellness Institute, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported.
`What we`re beginning to understand is that regular intake of these beverages sets off a chain reaction in the body that can potentially lead to many diseases - including stroke,` added Bernstein, according to a university statement.
The research analyzed soda consumption among 43,371 men, who participated in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study between 1986 and 2008, and 84,085 women who participated in the Nurses` Health Study between 1980 and 2008. During that time, 2,938 strokes were documented in women while 1,416 strokes were documented in men.
In sugar-sweetened sodas, the sugar load may lead to rapid increases in blood glucose and insulin which, over time, may lead to glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, and inflammation, all of which are risk factors of ischemic stroke (blood supply to the brain is blocked). This risk for stroke appears higher in women than in men.
Conversely, coffee contains chlorogenic acids, lignans and magnesium, all of which act as antioxidants and may reduce stroke risk. When compared with one serving of sugar-sweetened soda, one serving of decaffeinated coffee was associated with a 10 percent lower risk of stroke.