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September 26, 2018

A Diet Coke a day is key to long life, says 104-year-old

Regular and mini cans of Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi are pictured in this photo illustration in New York August 5, 2014. /Reuters
Regular and mini cans of Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi are pictured in this photo illustration in New York August 5, 2014. /Reuters

A woman who has made it to the age of 104 swears that the secret to longevity is drinking Diet Coke every day.

Theresa Rowley, from Grand Rapids, Michigan, celebrated her birthday with a cake on January 1.

"When I was 100, I thought I'd never be 104," she told WZZM. "Then I turn 101, and nothing happens... Here I am 104, and still nothing happens."

The care home resident has revealed she consumes at least one can of the soda a day.

"I drink it because I like it," she explained. "I'm going shopping Wednesday and I need more Diet Coke. I have a bag full of empty Diet Coke cans that I need to return to buy more Diet Coke."

Diet Coke was launched in the US in 1982 – when Illinois-born Rowley would have been 68.

But scientists would disagree that the beverage had helped give her another 36 years of life – diet soda has repeatedly been linked to obesity, diabetes, stroke and dementia in studies.

Diet drinks could cause people to put on weight and trigger diabetes even when they are low-calorie.

Modern diet products confuse the human body because there is nothing natural like them, scientists say.

Where a low-calorie drink is still as sweet as the normal version, the mismatch appears to send our metabolisms haywire.

Researchers at Yale University say in nature sweetness signals the presence of energy, so that the sweeter something tastes, the more calories it contains.

Furthermore, adults who have at least one diet drink a day are three times more at risk from a stroke or dementia, research suggests.

Scientists say they should no longer be regarded as the healthier alternative and urge the public to stick to water or milk.

The study of almost 4,400 adults by Boston University in April this year also suggests diet drinks are more likely to cause strokes and dementia than those full of sugar.

There was no link between sugary beverages and either of the illnesses – although the researchers aren't encouraging us to drink them either.

The team believe the artificial sweeteners including aspartame and saccharine maybe affecting the blood vessels, eventually triggering strokes and dementia.

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