Transcript: Diet Soda and Preterm Birth
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When we learned how bad butter was, the food industry responded by giving us margarine—which turned out even worse. When dietary guidelines told us to lower our fat intake, in hopes we’d pick up an apple, the food industry gave us fudge-drizzled chocolate chip cookies. Similar reasoning led to the billion dollar diet soda industry. Now “with vitamins and minerals.”
“Intake of artificially sweetened soft drinks and risk of preterm delivery: a prospective cohort study in 59,334 [pregnant Danes].” Conclusion: “Daily intake of artificially sweetened soft drinks may increase the risk of preterm delivery.” And, it probably wasn’t the caffeine or other additives, since the same sweetened versions of the soda didn’t result in the same problem.
So, what is it? They think it’s the aspartame. “After ingestion, aspartame is broken down into…methanol [wood alcohol]. Methanol is oxidized into formaldehyde…” —which isn’t great stuff. This might be one factor explaining reports of headaches linked to the intake of aspartame.
Researchers suggest that “the observed shortening of [pregnancy] could either be related to the effects of methanol on the fetal neuroendocrine system…or an indirect action [on the mother’s uterus].”
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