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Link found between diet fizzy drinks and depression

Published on 09/01/2013

A study in the US has found that people who regularly drink diet fizzy drinks may have a higher risk of depression, while drinking coffee may slightly lower the risk.

A link has been found between fizzy drinks and depression

Researchers studied more than 250,000 people aged over 50 enrolled in an AARP diet and health study. At the start of the study the participants answered questions about their drinking habits. After a decade passed they were asked if they had been diagnosed with depression.

The study showed that people who drank four cans or glasses of diet fizzy drinks a day had a 30% increased risk of the condition.

Drinking diet-sweetened drinks appeared to be linked with a slightly higher depression risk than drinking regular sugar-sweetened drinks.

The researchers also found that drinking coffee slightly lowered the risk of depression. Participants who drank four cups a day were 10% less likely to be diagnosed with the condition than those who drank no coffee.

The findings will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting. Lead researcher Dr Honglei Chen, of the National Institutes of Health in North Carolina, said:

"Our research suggests that cutting out or down on sweetened diet drinks or replacing them with unsweetened coffee may naturally help lower your depression risk."

However, experts say that more research is needed to confirm the findings. Gaynor Bussell, of the British Dietetic Association, said the study has “thrown up a possibly link - not a cause and effect - with depression."

"Non-calorific sweeteners can play a useful role in the diets of those trying to lose weight and diabetics and it is certainly not advocated that people should replace their diet sodas with more coffee."

Neurologist Kenneth M. Heilman, MD, said: “There is much more evidence that people who are depressed crave sweet things than there is to suggest that sweetened beverages cause depression.”

A recent study indicated that patients with depression who fail to respond to medication could be successfully treated using cognitive behavioural therapy.

One way of getting access to private CBT is through a health insurance policy. Medical insurance will meet the costs of talking therapies, as long as you have psychiatric cover.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2013

Categories:  Health
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