by Patty Donovan, citizen journalist(NaturalNews)
A new study published in January 16, 2009 edition of Diabetes Care indicates that daily consumption of diet soda plays a key role in the development of metabolic syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of findings known to increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease and is also known as Syndrome X. Metabolic syndrome includes insulin resistance or actual Type 2 diabetes, low HDL, elevated triglycerides and central obesity (high waist circumference).
Two previous studies have shown a positive correlation between diet soda and metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes. This study, the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), was designed to test the association between diet soda and the overall risk of metabolic syndrome, the various components of metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes. The study conclusions support the findings of the previous two studies. Another study published in the Annals of Epidemiology in Sept, 2006, found that adults with diabetes who drank one or more diet sodas per day had hemaglobin A1C levels 0.7 percent higher than those who drank none. HemaglobinA1C is a measurement that evaluates blood glucose control over a period of approximately 3 months. That difference is what would expect to be found when one group started a new, effective diabetic medication and another group left untreated.
Those who consumed diet soda at least daily had a 36% greater risk for metabolic syndrome and a huge 67% greater risk for the development of Type 2 diabetes. Drinking diet soda daily increased the risk of Type 2 diabetes regardless of initial obesity and changes during the study. When metabolic syndrome was looked at by individual components, only high fasting blood sugar (>100mg/dL) and high waist circumference (men: 102 cm/39.78inches; women: 88 cm/34.3inches) were significantly correlated with daily consumption of diet soda.
Baseline questionnaires regarding diet soda consumption were collected between 2000 and 2002 followed by three follow up examinations: 2002-2003, 2004-2005 and 2005-2007. These exams were to specifically identify the presence of Type 2 diabetes and the various components of metabolic syndrome. For this study, Type 2 diabetes was defined as a fasting blood glucose >126mg/dL, self reported diagnosis or use of glucose lowering medication.
After all data was compiled, adjustments were made for demographics, lifestyle and dietary differences. Hazard ratios were then calculated for Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and the components of metabolic syndrome. The participants who consumed diet soda were then compared to those participants who did not drink diet soda.
Limitations of the study included: observational design which precluded findings of causality, the possibility of unaccounted for differences in diet and lifestyle, difficulties accurately estimating intake of diet sodas and different artificial sweeteners.
The study authors conclude that: "These results corroborate findings from the ARIC [Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities] and Framingham studies and show stronger adverse associations exist between diet soda and Type 2 diabetes. Diet soda consumption, either independently or in conjunction with other dietary and lifestyle behaviors, may lead to weight gain, impaired glucose control, and eventual diabetes." While this data cannot establish causality, daily consumption of diet soda was associated with significantly increased risk of certain components of metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes.
This study was done by:
Division of Epidemiology, University of Texas Health Sciences Center, Houston, TX, the
Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, Center for Human Nutrition, Department of International Health, Division of Cardiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD; the
Department of Nutrition, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway