Carbonated Soda Increases Chance of Stroke

Carbonated drinks may be bubbly and sweet. Hundreds of millions of Americans enjoy the endless variety of sodas throughout the year, especially during the hot summers and bar-b-que seasons.

The bad news is that frequent soda drinkers increase their chances of stroke over non-soda drinkers. The AARP Health Newsletter published an article based on a study by the Cleveland Clinic's Wellness Institute and Harvard University. According to the report, drinking coffee in place of soda seems to cut the risk of stroke.

Sugar-sweetened drinks also have been linked to heart disease. It comes as no surprise that soda pop may promote diabetes and obesity.

Adam Bernstein, M.D., research director of the Cleveland Clinic's Wellness Institute, told AARP that soda additives are unsafe: "There has been some suggestion that caramel coloring could lead to inflammation, which perhaps then could trigger some type of disease."

Dr. Bernstein remarked that Americans drink a "massive" amount of sugar-sweetened sodas, upwards of 45 gallons per person per year or a gallon per week per person.

Hannah Gardner, an epidemiologist at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine agreed with Dr. Bernstein but remarked that more studies need to be done. She told AARP: "We need to figure out both in humans and in basic science models what may be going on."

Sugar-sweetened sodas are rigorously avoided in Assisted Living and Continuing Care residences.