Just one can of diet fizzy drink can increase risk of heart attack or strokeThose who drink diet soft drinks daily '43 per cent more likely' to have heart attacksCarbonated drinks can cause long-term liver damage similar that of chronic alcoholism

Drinking just a single can of diet fizzy drink every day can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke, research has revealed.

The new findings have suggested that just a couple of daily cans of the supposedly 'healthier' carbonated drinks, such as lemonade or cola, can raise the risk of liver damage, as well as potentially causing diabetes and heart damage.

Researchers from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center claim those who drink diet soft drinks are 43 per cent more likely to have heart attacks, vascular disease or strokes than those who have none.

Diet fizzy drinks are marketed as a healthy option, but in reality their health benefits over full-fat alternatives remain unclear

Diet fizzy drinks are marketed as a healthy option, but in reality their health benefits over full-fat alternatives remain unclear

Previous analysis of soft drinks has shown that fizzy drink products, which have a substantial amount of sweeteners, can cause liver disease similar to that caused by chronic alcoholism.

'Diet' fizzy drinks are marketed as a healthy option in comparison to 'full fat' alternatives due to having less calories.

But their genuine health benefits remain unclear, with some research suggesting they even trigger people's appetites even more.

Dr Hannah Gardener's research suggested 'an association between daily diet fizzy drink consumption and vascular outcomes'

Dr Hannah Gardener's research suggested 'an association between daily diet fizzy drink consumption and vascular outcomes'

The U.S. research team, whose work appears in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, studied regular soft drink consumption and drinking fizzy diet drinks, before studying the risk of stroke, heart attack and vascular death.

Their research revealed that those who
drank diet soft drinks every day were 43 per cent more likely to have
suffered a 'vascular' or blood vessel event than those who drank none,
after allowing for pre-existing vascular conditions such as metabolic
syndrome, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Ms Gardener said: 'Our results suggest a potential association between daily diet soft drink consumption and vascular outcomes.

'The mechanisms by which soft drinks may affect vascular events are unclear.'

She added, however, that the mechanisms by which soft drinks may affect 'vascular events' are not clear, and that more research was needed into the subject before significant conclusions could be drawn about the health consequences of soft drink consumption.