Mayo Clinic: I typically drink three or four cans of diet soda
each day, and my doctor told me it may be the cause of my high
blood pressure. But, Iíve been drinking this much soda for
years and have never had any issues. Why would it suddenly
affect my blood pressure?
unlikely that the diet soda you drink is causing your high
blood pressure. A number of studies have examined this topic,
and there is no evidence to suggest a link between regularly
drinking diet soda and an increase in blood pressure. In fact,
some research findings seem to suggest the opposite. Diet soda
actually may contribute to lowering blood pressure.
variety of artificial sweeteners are available on the market.
All of them are judged to be safe for general use. The three
artificial sweeteners primarily used in soft drinks and diet
sodas are stevia, sucralose and aspartame. Stevia, a natural
product, has been shown to possibly lower blood pressure in
people who have high blood pressure. Sucralose, which has
almost the same molecular structure as table sugar, does not
have much, if any, effect on blood pressure.
of diet sodas are made with aspartame. Aspartame does not
appear to cause high blood pressure either. For example, in
one study looking at a possible connection between the two,
rats were fed either sugary foods or large doses of aspartame.
The results showed that blood pressure went down in the group
that consumed the artificial sweetener.
telling study, though, was done in humans. It tested blood
pressure in four groups of overweight participants. Each group
drank one liter of either regular soda with sugar, diet soda,
milk or water every day for six months. Blood pressure in
those who consumed the diet soda and the milk came down by 10
to 15 percent, compared to those who drank sugared soda.
are considering the amount of diet soda you drink each day, it
is worthwhile to note that some population studies, called
epidemiologic research, show a relationship between the
regular use of diet soda and obesity. These studies also show
a relationship between diet soda consumption and metabolic
syndrome, and an increase in cardiovascular disorders.
However, these are associations only. Some nonmedical
literature you see may interpret those findings to mean that
diet soda somehow causes these medical conditions. But, this
type of research does not pinpoint the cause of the disorders.
It only identifies factors that may be related to them.
changing your diet soda habit may not have an effect on your
blood pressure, other lifestyle changes can make a difference.
For example, eat a healthy diet that is low in salt and has
plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish and
low-fat dairy foods. Exercise regularly, and get to, and stay
at, a healthy weight. If you drink alcohol, do so in
moderation. For women of all ages and men older than 65, that
means no more than one alcoholic drink a day. Men 65 and
younger should have no more than two drinks a day. Manage
stress in healthy ways. Donít smoke.
those steps can help control blood pressure. But, sometimes
lifestyle changes alone arenít enough, and medication is
necessary to keep blood pressure at a healthy level. Talk with
your doctor about the blood pressure treatment options that
are right for you.