Sebastian Kaulitzki / Shutterstock
The artificial, non-saccharide sweetener Aspartame found in diet sodas is the culprit here. An Israeli study has shown it to increase insulin resistance and trigger fatty liver disease, which means there is a buildup of extra fat in the liver cells. Alcohol has also been linked to fatty liver disease. The organ’s job is to process everything we eat and drink, but too much fat will have an effect. The condition can also be brought on by excessive drinking. Alcoholic fatty liver disease is the earliest stage of other drinking-related liver problems. There are usually no symptoms.
Tatiana Shepeleva / Shutterstock
Experiments on rats have shown that Aspartame, the market names of which are NutraSweet® and Equal®, can cause the development of cancerous cells in different parts or the body. The sweetener’s carcinogenic effects are increased when exposure begins in the womb. The Department of Health lists consumption of alcoholic beverages as a known human carcinogen. The most common cancers linked to excessive drinking are head and neck cancers, esophageal, liver, breast, colon and rectum, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Metabolic Syndrome is a combination of factors that increase the chance of suffering from heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. A study concluded that basically the more you drink, the more likely you are to develop this condition. Symptoms include high blood pressure, insulin resistance, blood clots, and too much belly fat.
Sergey Nivens / Shutterstock
A Swedish study that observed 42,400 men over 12 years said that only two sweetened drinks a day can increase the risk of heart problems by almost a quarter. Less than half of the people first diagnosed with the condition live longer than five years, according to the Heart Failure Society of America. Alcohol is also to blame. It weakens the heart muscle. That deteriorates the organ because it has more difficulties pumping blood.
Syda Productions / Shutterstock
Diet sodas trick the brain by triggering its “awards” regions, causing “metabolic derangements.” That basically means that you end up eating more or changing your diet in an unhealthy way, eventually – and ironically – leading to the diseases you are trying to avoid by switching to diet soda. Another study has linked artificial sweeteners to a change in gut microbes, increasing the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Excessive drinking causes chronic inflammation of the pancreas. As a result, it can’t secrete insulin properly, leading to diabetes in the end.
design36 / Shutterstock
Have you ever known anyone who switched from regular to diet soda and lost weight (without making any other changes)? Probably not. In a study conducted by the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, people who drank two or more diet sodas a day had waist sizes that were six times bigger than those who didn’t drink diet soda. The 470+ participants were observed for about a decade. Also, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, alcohol is fat-sparing. The body will burn the calories from booze first before it burns any fat.
Researchers had said that consuming as little as one diet soda a day could increase your risk of heart attack and stroke by 48 percent. When you drink the soda, the body releases insulin after it “tastes” the sweetness from the artificial sweeteners. Too much of them, but no sugar, causes an overload, making the cells less responsive to the hormone. Alcohol can trigger symptoms of atrial fibrillation (arrhythmia), which increases the risk of stroke by five times. Excess of alcohol stops the liver from making the materials that help the blood to clot.
Experts can’t agree on this one. Some studies link the Aspartame sweetener to a higher risk of multiple sclerosis while the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have rejected the notion. Why risk it when diet soda causes so many other problems anyway?
Monika Wisniewska / Shutterstock
The phosphoric acid in soda drinks extracts calcium from the bones. No calcium means weaker bones, increasing the risk of fractures. A study found that women who drank soda beverages had lower bone density in the hips. Other research has also suggested that higher soda consumption is associated with more bone fractures.
kwanchai.c / Shutterstock
Several studies have suggested that diet soda causes weigh gain, not loss. In one research in particular, which included 749 people who were 65 and older, those who had sugar-free sodas gained three times more weight around the waist – 3.2 inches – than those who didn’t. Belly fat is closely linked to higher risk of heart diseases, inflammation and Type 2 diabetes. Some studies have shown that alcohol decreases fat burn in the stomach. That’s why nutritionists say that the fastest way to lose belly fat is by not drinking booze.
EmiliaUngur / Shutterstock
Dehydration can also occur as a result of drinking too much alcohol. It lowers the level of the anti-diuretic hormone, which is used by the body to reabsorb water. You lose more fluid than necessary. Diet sodas with caffeine can have the same effect because of artificial sweeteners such as sucralose or aspartame. Dehydration causes bad breath, sugar cravings, fatigue, dizziness, and headaches.
Aspartame-sweetened soft drinks have been linked to seizures. It has also been known to induce convulsions. This synthetic chemical can evade the blood-brain barrier, allowing the chemicals to directly alter the brain’s neurological function. It is believed that aspartame, which contains phenylalanine, can raise the levels of phenylalanine in the brain. It then reduces the production and flow of the neurotransmitters that protect against seizures.
eranicle / Shutterstock
Sodium benzoate, a popular food preservative used in many soda drinks, may cause serious scarring in the liver, followed by liver failure. Alcoholic liver cirrhosis is the most advanced form of liver illness that has to do with drinking. Fatty liver disease is usually the first signal. For cirrhosis to develop, a person has to be abusing alcohol for years.
anucha maneechote / Shutterstock
Repeated drinking can raise your blood pressure too much. Older people, especially women, are more at risk. A study says that the regular consumption of alcohol elevates blood pressure. The global estimate attributing to the risk for hypertensive disease from alcohol is 16 percent. People who drink sugar-free and artificially sweetened soft drinks are more likely to have high blood pressure, possibly because they are more likely to gain weight.
MyImages - Micha / Shutterstock
Any kind of medication mixed with even a little bit of alcohol is a bad idea. In addition to the usual risks of vomiting, drowsiness and loss of coordination, the combination can lead to internal bleeding, heart issues and breathing problems. The risk of an overdose is real, too. Alcohol is a depressant and some drugs are sedatives. The result can be stupor. Booze and meds mask the each other’s effects, leading you to either drink more or take more pills.