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April 2012

Drinking Soda May Increase Stroke Risk

A new study suggests that drinking soda may increase the risk for stroke in both men and women.

A stroke is much like what a heart attack is to the heart, but to the brain. A stroke involves the sudden interruption of blood flow and oxygen to areas in the brain and can cause brain damage and loss of function. Stroke develops suddenly, usually in a matter of minutes, and causes symptoms such as paralysis, numbness or weakness often affecting one side of the body, confusion, dizziness, speech problems and loss of vision. How a stroke patient is affected depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much the brain is damaged.

In a new study, researchers analyzed data on 84,085 women throughout a 28-year follow-up period and 43,371 men throughout a 22-year follow-up period to assess to potential association between soda consumption and stroke risk.

A total of 4,354 strokes were identified. The researchers found that when compared to drinking no soda at all, drinking at least one serving of sweetened or low-calorie soda daily was linked to a 16 percent increased risk of stroke in both men and women. Conversely, when compared to one daily serving of soda, drinking one daily serving of decaffeinated coffee was linked to a 10 percent decreased risk for stroke. Drinking one serving of caffeinated coffee was linked to a nine percent decreased risk.

The authors concluded that drinking soda may increase the risk for stroke. Replacing soda with coffee may reduce this risk; however, further research is necessary.

For more information about stroke risk factors, please visit Natural Standard's Medical Conditions Database.


  1. Bernstein AM, de Koning L, Flint AJ, et al. Soda consumption and the risk of stroke in men and women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 May;95(5):1190-9. View Abstract
  2. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine.
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