In Massachusetts, researchers reported that Framingham Heart Study data has shown that frequent consumption of sugary beverages such as sodas and fruit juices is associated with poorer memory, smaller overall brain volumes and smaller hippocampal volumes – an area of the brain important for memory.
“Our findings indicate an association between higher sugary beverage intake and brain atrophy, including lower brain volume and poorer memory,” explained corresponding author Matthew Pase, PhD, fellow in the department of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine and investigator at the FHS. “We also found that people drinking diet soda daily were almost three times as likely to develop stroke and dementia. This included a higher risk of ischemic stroke, where blood vessels in the brain become obstructed and Alzheimer’s disease dementia, the most common form of dementia.”
Both sugar and artificially-sweetened beverage consumption has been linked to increased risk of cerebrovascular disease and dementia.