June 22, 2024

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New Study Links Diet Soda During Pregnancy to Autism in Male Offspring

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A new study has found a link between drinking diet soda during pregnancy and an increased risk of autism in male offspring. The researchers believe that the increased phenylalanine levels in the bloodstream of fetuses whose mothers drink diet soda may disrupt brain development and increase the risk of autism. Pregnant women who are concerned about the potential risks of aspartame should avoid drinking diet soda and other foods and beverages that contain it.
Diet Soda

New Study Links Diet Soda During Pregnancy to Autism in Male Offspring

A new study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives has found a link between drinking diet soda during pregnancy and an increased risk of autism in male offspring.

The study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, analyzed data from over 500 mothers and their children. The researchers found that boys whose mothers drank one or more diet sodas per day during pregnancy were more than three times as likely to be diagnosed with autism than boys whose mothers did not drink diet soda.

The link between diet soda and autism was only found in boys, and it was not seen in girls. The researchers are not sure why this is the case, but they speculate that it may have to do with the way that aspartame is metabolized in the body.

Aspartame is a sugar substitute that is commonly used in diet sodas and other foods and beverages. It is made up of two amino acids, phenylalanine and aspartic acid. When aspartame is broken down in the body, it releases phenylalanine into the bloodstream.

Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid, but it can be harmful to the developing brain if levels are too high. In pregnant women, phenylalanine can cross the placenta and enter the fetal bloodstream.

The researchers believe that the increased phenylalanine levels in the bloodstream of fetuses whose mothers drink diet soda may disrupt brain development and increase the risk of autism.

It is important to note that the study does not prove that aspartame causes autism. However, it does provide evidence that there may be a link between the two.

What should pregnant women do?

Pregnant women who are concerned about the potential risks of aspartame should avoid drinking diet soda and other foods and beverages that contain it. There are many other healthy and safe beverage options available, such as water, milk, and unsweetened fruit juice.

If you are pregnant and have any questions about aspartame or other artificial sweeteners, be sure to talk to your doctor.

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