Artificial sweeteners increase the risk of cardiovascular disease

Many people who want to lose weight or reduce calories may turn to artificial sweeteners as one way to help achieve these goals. But a new study suggests that replacing real sugar with artificial sweeteners may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

This study, which followed more than 100,000 adults for about a decade, is among the largest to date to identify cardiovascular problems with sugar substitutes. Overall, artificial sweeteners were associated with a 9 percent increased risk of any type of cardiovascular disease and an 18 percent greater chance of stroke, according to the The results are published in BMJ.

“Our results suggest that this food additive, which is consumed by millions of people daily and present in thousands of foods and beverages, should not be considered a healthy and safe alternative to sugar,” the study authors wrote. BMJ.

At the start of the study, none of the participants had a history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes – and none were diagnosed with these conditions during the first two years of follow-up. The average age of the participants was 42 years and most of them were female.