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Diet soda leads to depression, new study shows

The research focuses on the role of artificial sweeteners, which were found to increase the risk of mental health issues such as depression.

Diet soda depression 2Enlarge
A new study by the National Institutes of Health shows that drinking diet soda may increase the chances of developing depression. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A new study has shown links between diet soda consumption and depression.

The research focuses on the role of artificial sweeteners, which were found to increase the risk of mental health issues such as depression.

The findings will be released in mid-March by the American Academy of Neurology.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers looked at 250,000 people between 50 and 70 years-old.

It looked at their soda consumption between 1995 and 1996.

Researchers went back a decade later to learn of the participants' mental health and whether or not they had been diagnosed with depression since 2000.

They found that those people who drank four cans or more of soda daily are 30 percent more likely to be diagnosed with depression.

"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," said study author Honglei Chen, in a statement, according to US News and World Report.

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

The research also confirmed that coffee consumption actually decreased the depression risk by 10 percent, said WebMd.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/130109/diet-soda-leads-depression-new-study-shows