by Cherie Calbom
Diet sweeteners and diet sodas are gaining in popularity. They are advertised as better than their sugar-sweetened counterparts, but they are actually worse than sugar.
Side Effects of Diet Sweeteners
Bad for your kidneys. Researchers found that diet cola is associated with a two-fold increased risk for kidney decline. In an 11-year-long Harvard Medical School study of more than 3,000 women, it was found that kidney function started declining when women drank more than two sodas a day. Kidney decline was not associated with sugar-sweetened sodas, therefore researchers suspect that the diet sweeteners are responsible.
Linked with metabolic syndrome.
According to a University of Minnesota study (2008) with almost 10,000 adults, just one diet soda a day is linked to a 34% higher risk of metabolic syndrome—symptoms that include belly fat and high cholesterol that puts you at risk for heart disease.
Causes weight gain.
A University of Texas Health Science Center study found that drinking just two cans of diet soda a day increase the waistline by 500%. Artificial sweeteners disrupt the body’s ability to regulate calorie intake.
Get drunk faster.
Cocktails made with diet soda make you drunk faster, according to a study out of the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia.
Contain mold inhibitors—sodium benzoate or potassium benzoate.
Regular sodas don’t contain them. These chemicals have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it – they knock it out altogether,” says Peter Piper, a professor of molecular biology and biotechnology at the University of Sheffield in the U.K. These preservatives have also been linked to hives, asthma, and other allergic conditions, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Dissolves tooth enamel.
Adults who drink three or more sodas a day have worse dental health, says a University of Michigan analysis of dental checkup data. Soda drinkers had far greater decay, more missing teeth, and more fillings.
—a hormone disruptor, which has been linked to heart disease, obesity, and reproductive problems.