(NaturalNews) There are many reasons to avoid soda and other soft drinks: High refined sugar levels, extreme acidity, unnatural and often toxic ingredients, and much more. According to a new study by U.S. researchers for the National Institute of Health, however, we can add another reason to the list - the regular consumption of soda, especially those that contained artificial sweeteners, can lead to depression.
The study, which was released in January 2013 and will be delivered in full at the American Academy of Neurology's annual conference in March, studied the drinking habits of 265,000 men and women between 50-71 years old. The researchers monitored their consumption of soft drinks, teas, and coffees between the years of 1995 and 1996 and then, one decade later, asked them if their doctors had diagnosed them with depression from 2000 onwards.
The results showed that individuals who drank four or more sodas daily were 30 percent likelier to suffer from depression than individuals who didn't drink soda, while individuals that drank diet soda were even likelier to suffer from depression than individuals who drank regular soda. Moreover, the research showed that regular coffee drinkers were 10 percent unlikelier to be diagnosed with depression than individuals who didn't drink coffee.
"Our research suggests that cutting out or down on sweetened diet drinks or replacing them with unsweetened coffee may naturally help lower your depression risk" said Dr. Honlei Chen, the leader of the study, but added that "more research is needed to confirm these findings."
'Soft drinks are evil'
Dr. Chen's study for the National Institute of Health is the latest in a long line of studies documenting the negative effects of soft drinks on our overall health. In October 2012, a research team at Osaka University found that women who drink one fizzy drink per day increase their risk of a stroke by 80 percent, while a separate study by Swedish scientists for the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that men who drank one fizzy drink per day increased their risk of prostate cancer by 40 percent.
Arguably the most damning and memorable anti-soft drink study of 2012, however, is that of the biologist Dr. Hans-Peter Kubis. Dr. Kubris's study, which was published in the European Journal of Nutrition, showed that regular soft drink consumption was directly linked to an altered metabolism, obesity, osteoporosis, an increased risk of diabetes and fatty liver disease, and just about everything else.
"Having seen all the medical evidence, I don't touch soft drinks now," Dr. Kubis concluded. "I think drinks with added sugar are, frankly, evil."
Dr. Chen might quietly agree. Sources for this article include:
About the author: Michael Ravensthorpe is an independent writer whose research interests include nutrition, alternative medicine, and bushcraft. He is the creator of the website, Spiritfoods, through which he promotes the world's healthiest foods.