In a study of 2564 people of varying ethnic backgrounds, researchers at Columbia University in New York and the Miller School of Medicine in Miami found a significant correlation between diet soda consumption and the risk of stroke.
Begun in 1993, the Northern Manhattan Study known as NOMAS has been ongoing and still continues. Researchers divided people into seven groups: those who drank less than one soda of any type per month, those with moderate soda consumption (up to six per week), daily regular soda consumption (one or more daily), moderate diet soda only, daily diet soda only, moderate diet soda and sometimes regular soda, and daily diet soda with any regular soda consumption.
Scientists factored in the age, ethnicity, gender, exercise habits, smoking status, alcohol consumption, and caloric intake. During the test period participants had 559 strokes combined.
After considering all the other factors studied, researchers concluded that regular diet soda drinkers had a 48% increased chance of having a stroke, while those who drank diet soda every day had a 61% increased risk of stroke over those who drank other types of soda.
Concurrently, it is important to note that Diet Coke recently moved into the number two position of most popular beverage among Americans–a scary proposition considering the recent study findings.
The stroke culprit is likely aspartame, an artificial sweetener that has been linked to dozens of other health conditions. According to Lynne Melcombe, author of Health Hazards of White Sugar, research links aspartame to the following health conditions: anxiety attacks; appetite problems such as binge-eating and sugar cravings; birth defects; blindness and vision problems such as blurred vision, bright flashes, and tunnel vision; brain tumors; chest pain; depression and emotional problems; dizziness and vertigo; edema; epilepsy and seizures; fatigue; headaches and migraines; hearing loss and tinnitus; heart palpitations and arrhythmia; hyperactivity; insomnia; joint pain; learning disabilities; memory loss; menstrual irregularities and PMS (premenstrual syndrome); muscle cramps; nausea; numbness of extremities; psychiatric disorders; reproductive problems; skin lesions; slurred speech; and uterine tumors. Research even links aspartame to death. Aspartame's effects can be mistaken for Alzheimer's disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, epilepsy, Epstein-Barr virus, Huntington's chorea, hypothyroidism, Lou Gehrig's disease; Lyme disease, Ménière's disease, multiple sclerosis, and postpolio syndrome.
According to Randall Fitzgerald, author of The Hundred-Year Lie, some of the cancers linked to aspartame include: brain, liver, lung, kidney, and lymphoreticular cancer.