Sugar Beverages and Dietary Sodas Impact on Brain Health: A Mini Literature Review

Cureus. 2018 Jun 7;10(6):e2756. doi: 10.7759/cureus.2756.


Sugar-sweetened beverages containing caffeine are widely used among humans nowadays and can have negative consequences on the overall health. Our study aims to discuss the effects of these sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) and how they can impact the health in different ways particularly on the brain. Some of the mechanisms by which soft drinks can exert adverse effects include an increase in glutathione-6-dehydrogenase level, increased levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glutamate and dopamine alteration in brain waves on electroencephalography (EEG) eventually leading to stroke and dementia. They can increase the oxidative stress by a decreasing monoamine oxidase and acetylcholine esterase and antioxidants such as glutathione and catalase. The sleep quality and duration of sleep is also significantly affected by their increased consumption. Also, the consumption of sodium benzoate (found in beverages) on impairing memory, motor coordination, affecting reduced glutathione (GSH), increasing the malondialdehyde (MDA) level in the brain and producing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children is emphasized. Finally, we will highlight how diet drinks can also be harmful and the maternal consumption of chocolate or soft drinks during pregnancy and postnatal period can be linked to cognitive impairment and child obesity.

Keywords: caffeine and brain; effects of soda and dietary consumptions on brain; soda and other drinks role in sleep; soft drinks effect on congnitive ability; sugar-sweetened beverages and its effect on mind.

Publication types

  • Review