Drinking two servings of carbonated soda — even the diet kind — could double the risk of diabetes, according to a Swedish study.
Research by the Karolinska Institute on 2,800 adults found that those who consumed at least two 6½ ounce servings of soft drinks daily were 2.4 times as likely to suffer from a form of type 2 diabetes.
The alarming risks of diet soda
Many sodas are sold in 12-ounce cans, meaning that one and a half cans would be enough to double the risk.
According to the study, people who drank a liter of soda saw their chances of suffering from diabetes increase tenfold.
Read more: 5 serious health risks of diet soda
The increased risks were the same regardless of whether the drinks were sugary or artificially sweetened, according to the findings published in the European Journal of Endocrinology.
Researchers said the sugary drinks may have induced insulin resistance, triggering the cases of diabetes.
The artificial sweeteners in the diet drinks may stimulate and distort appetite, they said, increasing food intake, and encouraging a sweet tooth. Such sweeteners might also affect microbes in the gut leading to glucose intolerance.
The research was a retrospective study, which relied on participants to recall their diet habits.
Josefin Edwall Löfvenborg, lead author, told The Telegraph that soft drinks might influence glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity, leading to the increased risk of latent auto-immune diabetes, a form of type 2 diabetes.
“In this study we were surprised by the increased risk in developing autoimmune diabetes by drinking soft drinks,” he said. We next plan on investigating what could counter this risk.”
More research was needed into the impact of diet drinks, he said.
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