Diet Soda And Depression May Be Linked, New Study Finds

Nathan Francis

Diet soda and depression may be linked, a new study looking at artificially sweetened beverages found.

The research suggests that adults who drink sweetened beverages --- diet drinks especially --- have a higher risk be being depressed, the American Academy of Neurology found. The diet soda and depression study looked at 263,925 people between the ages of 50 and 71, evaluating their sweetened drink consumption between 1995 and 1996.

Researchers looked back at the same group 10 years later, asking if they had been diagnosed with depression since the year 2000, My Fox 8 reported. The people who drank more than four cans or cups of soda or diet coke were 38 percent more likely to develop depression than those who didn't drink soda, the study found.

"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 of the National Institutes of Health in Research Triangle Park in North Carolina and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.

The risk rose when people drank diet soda rather than regular.

"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 noted. "More research is needed to confirm these findings, and people with depression should continue to take depression medications prescribed by their doctors."

The diet soda and depression study found that not all beverages were bad. People who drank four cups of coffee per day were about 10 percent less likely to develop depression than people who drank no coffee.