I feel like we’ve been told several times on different occasions that soda–specifically diet soda–is definitely not great for our bodies and minds. People love their soda, though, and so for most of us, they’ve been pretty easy to ignore.
This study involves rats, so I’m sure some people will brush it off, too, but there are some pretty concerning links to memory issues later in life.
Researchers out of the University of Southern Canta Catarina in Brazil found that, over multiple months, the rats soda consumption caused memory impairment and oxidative stress in the brain.
Those biological stress markers increased significantly after 68 days of straight soft drink consumption. Those markers also had implications for behavior.
In one group, the rats were able to drink as much soda as they wanted but also had access to water, while the control group was offered only water. The cycle lasted for 67 days and on the 68th day, their brain tissue was analyzed.
They found that even the memories of young rats (between 2 and 8 months old) scored lower on the maze tests, and that tests revealed stress markers on the brains of rats of all ages.
The conclusion was that while biological changes took place in all of the rats who drank to soda, younger rats are more susceptible to behavior changes as well.
This study joins others that implicated regular soda consumption as a factor in increased risk of disease, neurodegeneration, cognitive impairments, and increased risk of dementia.
It’s not just the sugar intake, either; the soda-drinking rats did not show higher blood glucose levels than their water-loving counterparts.
More research is definitely in order, as scientists want to test rats of both sexes and further try to determine what in the soda’s content could be affecting the rat’s brains so significantly.
These are rats, of course, but you know…maybe just cut your soda consumption back.
Just in case.