facebook pixel

Diet Drinks Threaten the Brain

The message that we should all dramatically reduce our sugar consumption is really gaining traction and for good reason. This was a central theme of Grain Brain, and these ideas have certainly been validated since I published that book back in 2013.

Unfortunately, as people have learned about the threats of sugar consumption, soft drink manufacturers have decided to emphasize sugar-free beverages, sweetened with artificial sweeteners, as a “healthy” alternative. To be clear, nothing is further from the truth.

Please review my previous blogs and videos that show such a strong correlation between consuming artificially sweetened beverages and risk for weight gain, as well as type 2 diabetes. in a new study, published in the highly respected journal JAMA Neurology, researchers demonstrate that the risk for Alzheimer’s disease, dementia in general, and stroke, are all dramatically increased in people who drink these sugar-free beverages. One reason this may be happening has to do with the changes in the gut bacteria that occur when consumers are exposed to these chemicals. Watch the video, and hopefully you’ll think twice the next time somebody offers you a diet drink.

Share this post

  • Dr. Perlmutter, I avoid diet drinks, but I take a generous portion of Metamucil every day. My choices are the sugar or artificially sweetened versions. Should I ditch the fiber because of the risks imposed by the sweeteners? I’ve tried to find a fiber supplement without some form of sweetener and have been unsuccessful so far.

  • Annelise

    I would be interested in knowing, from Dr. Perlmutter, whether it’s ever “too late” for the body to show benefits from not using artificial sweeteners. My concern is that I’ve been drinking diet soda since it came out in the 80’s, not realizing, until the last couple of years, just how bad it really is. Could I have done irreparable damage?

    • David Perlmutter

      Never too late to take back control of your health.

      • Annelise

        Well said. Thank you for your work and sharing it so freely. Very appreciated.

  • bestofandy

    So what “damage” does Aspertame really do to the brain to bring on Alzheimer’s disease? You are only suggesting that Aspertame kills gut bacteria. Any group of special interest “medicine” research can conclude stuff like this to undercut diet drinks. What is the safe alternative other than sugared drinks?

    • Mary Ellen Ramos

      Water, it’s what our bodies need. Flavor with lemon juice. Tea, brewed not instant, in moderation. Herbal tea.

      • Peggy Stacy

        Tea, unsweetened. Coffee, black. If you need it sweet, stevia does the trick.

  • Darla Duke Lunsford

    I don’t drink diet soda but 2 splendid in my coffee in the morning.

    • Patricia Lowder Stevenson

      Switch to Stevia which is a natural sweetener. Splenda is just as bad as Equal and Sweet ‘n Low.

  • Mary Nelson

    What about things like that powdered to put in coffee to replace dairy? I read the ingredients on one and it was frightening.

loading symbol Loading More