Caution: This common beverage poses risk to liver health, research warns

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liver-health-risk(NaturalHealth365)  Liver problems are often tied to the consumption of alcohol.  However, a new study published in BMC Public Health reveals consuming diet soft drinks also threatens liver health.

Sadly, for too many people, the little-known truth is drinking diet soda – in any amount – is detrimental to health.  Previous studies revealed the consumption of diet soft drinks is tied to a higher risk of health problems, including type 2 diabetes and obesity.  Yet, to this day, the mainstream media rarely touches on such risks as there is an inherent conflict of interest with diet soda-makers who regularly advertise on TV, radio, magazines, etc.

The sobering reality of diet soda dangers and liver health

Diet sodas contain harmful ingredients such as, aspartame (an artificial – neurotoxic – sweetener).  These ingredients have the potential to cause metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD).  MASLD was previously referred to as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).  The disease was renamed this past summer.

Diet soda drinkers and those considering diet sodas should be aware that MASLD is increasing at a shockingly fast rate, representing nearly one-third of the population in 2022.  MASLD is one of the most common types of chronic liver disease.  Exactly one-fifth of those diagnosed with MASLD will transition to metabolic dysfunction-associated steatohepatitis, referred to by the acronym MASH.

MASH manifests in the form of hepatocellular injury, hiking the chances of cirrhosis of the liver by 20% across the ensuing three to four decades.  Currently, the pharmaceutical industry has not obtained approval for any MASLD medications.

Study links diet sodas to liver disease and premature death

Simply put, the likelihood of developing MASLD increases with diet soda consumption and poor dietary habits.  This inference stems from a thorough analysis of data gathered during the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys conducted between 2003 and 2006.  Researchers utilized the Fatty Liver Index (FLI) to assess participants’ MASLD status and employed weighted multiple logistic regression modeling to scrutinize the connection between diet sodas and MASLD.  Mediation analysis was also conducted to gain insights into the mediating effect of body mass index (BMI).

2,378 individuals participated in the study, with 1,089 exhibiting MASLD.  The research team adjusted variables associated with metabolic syndrome, lifestyle, and demographics.

The findings indicate a notable association between excessive diet soda consumption and a heightened occurrence of MASLD.  Intriguingly, 84.7% of this association was mediated by body mass index.

Breaking the diet soda habit: Healthier swaps for a refreshing change

No doubt, by ditching a diet soda habit, you can make a more positive step toward better health.  Instead of reaching for another 12-pack of diet soft drinks, explore healthier alternatives like flavored water, tea, and kombucha.  While kombucha contains sugar, it boasts digestive health benefits, and you can even brew your own at home with a DIY kit.

Here are some more tips to kick your soda habit:

  1. Sparkling water infusions:  Create your own fizzy drinks by adding fresh fruits, herbs, or cucumber slices to sparkling water.
  2. Herbal tea blends:  Enjoy a variety of herbal teas, hot or iced, for a flavorful and caffeine-free beverage.
  3. Homemade smoothies:  Blend your favorite fruits with some veggies or a plant-based alternative for a nutritious and satisfying drink.
  4. Cold brew coffee:  For a caffeine kick without the added sugars, try cold brew coffee with a splash of milk or a dairy-free option.
  5. Freshly squeezed juices:  Choose freshly squeezed juices from fruits or vegetables for a natural burst of vitamins and minerals.

Share your success story!  If you’ve successfully swapped out diet soda for a healthier alternative, let us know your favorite beverage, in the comment section below.

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