Two or more diet drinks a day can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and ischemic attacks even in post-menopausal, healthy women as there is severe electrolyte imbalance in the body.
According to a study conducted by researchers at University of Iowa, those who consumed diet drinks everyday are 30 per cent more likely to experience a cardiovascular event and 50 per cent more likely to die from a related disease.
Cardiologist Dr Sunil Kapoor explained, “The reason for cardiovascular diseases is because these drinks have only artificial sugars and there are no salts. Hence, the person feels light and looks thin, but it can also create havoc as the electrolytes required for balancing the body rhythm are not present.”
“There are no nutrients in these drinks despite claims of the same. They are not recommended on a daily basis. If taken once in a fortnight or in a month, it’s okay. But these drinks are not a substitute for food.”
The consumption of so much artificial sugar can lead to acid accumulation in the body and there are chances of increase in palpitations and also sudden stroke.
The study found that congestive heart failure, sudden heart attack, ischemic stroke and peripheral arterial disease are caused in 8.5 per cent women who consumed two or more diet drinks every day.
It was 6.9 per cent in those who consumed five to seven diet drinks per week and 7.2 per cent on one to four every week.
Nutritionist Sunitha Premlatha said, “These drinks give instant energy where the feeling is of being very active. But in reality, these substitutes are akin to starvation. The body is more and more dependent on internal fats for functioning. The fats consumed by the person are reduced because they are calorie conscious. Hence there is little available for the body to support all its functioning.”
Experts state that this is also one of the causes for the supply of oxygen to the peripheries being affected.
The numbness that is often felt on tips of fingers and toes is because there is not enough blood supply to these parts of the body.
Daily consumption of these drinks is not advisable as the damage is often hidden and there are no symptoms or even indicators by the body, which tries to carry out damage control on its own.