Link Between Diet Soda Consumption During Pregnancy and Autism in Boys

Link Between Diet Soda Consumption During Pregnancy and Autism in Boys

A recent study has highlighted a potential connection between pregnant mothers who consume diet soft drinks and a higher likelihood of autism diagnoses in their sons. The research, conducted at The University of Texas Health Science Centre at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio), has raised probing questions regarding the impact of Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi on autism rates, particularly among new-born sons.

A recent study has highlighted a potential connection between pregnant mothers who consume diet soft drinks and a higher likelihood of autism diagnoses in their sons.

The research, conducted at The University of Texas Health Science Centre at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio), has raised probing questions regarding the impact of Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi on autism rates, particularly among new-born sons.

: Link Between Diet Soda Consumption During Pregnancy and Autism in Boys

The investigation posits that aspartame, an artificial sweetener commonly found in diet soft drinks, may be associated with a heightened incidence of autism diagnoses in boys.

Lead author Raymond F. Palmer, PhD, a professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at UT Health San Antonio, emphasizes that these findings bring forth novel concerns about potential neurological ramifications that warrant further examination.

The study revealed a notable correlation between autism diagnoses in boys and the daily consumption of diet soft drinks or equivalent amounts of aspartame by mothers during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Link Between Diet Soda Consumption During Pregnancy and Autism in Boys

Among boys diagnosed with autism, their mothers were three times more likely to report daily consumption of at least one diet soft drink or an equivalent amount of aspartame, equivalent to one can of diet cola per day.

The research employed a case-control approach, collecting surveyed dietary information from mothers of 235 children with autism spectrum disorder and 121 children with typical neurological development (the control group).

The researchers focused specifically on reported aspartame consumption by the mothers.

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When comparing the outcomes between the two groups, the study found that male offspring with autism were more than three times as likely to have been exposed to aspartame-sweetened products daily during pregnancy or breastfeeding compared to neurologically typical children.

Intriguingly, this association was observed exclusively in boys and not in girls.

This study adds to the ongoing debate surrounding aspartame, as previous research has raised concerns about its potential effects on memory and learning, as well as hinted at a potential link to cancer.

Therefore, it underscores the importance of pregnant women exercising caution when considering the consumption of diet soft drinks or products containing aspartame.

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