Are you a regular sweet drinks addict? If yes, so it’s a time to rethink about your habit as new research claims that sweetened beverages, especially diet drinks could lead to increased risk of depression in adults.

“Sweetened beverages, coffee and tea are commonly consumed worldwide and have important physical – and may have important mental – health consequences,” said study author Honglei Chen, MD, PhD, with the National Institutes of Health in Research Triangle Park in North Carolina and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.

The study which involved 263,925 people between the ages of 50 and 71 at enrolment were evaluated on their consumption of drinks such as soda, tea, fruit punch and coffee from 1995 to 1996.

About 10 years later, researchers asked the participants whether they had been diagnosed with depression since the year 2000.

Surprisingly, a total of 11,311 depression diagnoses were made.

However, there was lot of distinction came in picture after analysis of these participants as the risk appeared to be greater for people who drank diet than regular soda, diet than regular fruit punches and for diet than regular iced tea.

People who drank more than four cans or cups per day of soda were 30 per cent more likely to develop depression than those who drank no soda.

While, those who drank four cans of fruit punch per day were about 38 per cent more likely to develop depression than those who did not drink sweetened drinks.

People who drank four cups of coffee per day were about 10 per cent less likely to develop depression than those who drank no 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,” Chen said in a statement.

However, Chen also said more research is needed to confirm these findings and people with depression should continue to take depression medications prescribed by their doctors.

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Cancer Institute.

(This article was published on January 9, 2013)
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