Study: Artificial Sweeteners May Promote Diabetes

sweetUsing artificial sweeteners may set the stage for diabetes in some people by hampering the way their bodies handle sugar, suggests a preliminary study done mostly in mice.

The authors said they are not recommending any changes in how people use artificial sweeteners based on their study, which included some human experiments. The researchers and outside experts said more study is needed, while industry groups called the research limited and said other evidence shows sweeteners are safe and useful for weight control.

The study from researchers in Israel was released Wednesday by the journal Nature.

The work suggests the sweeteners change the composition of normal, beneficial bacteria in the gut. That appears to hamper how well the body handles sugar in the diet, which in turn can result in higher blood sugar levels. This impairment, called glucose intolerance, can eventually lead to diabetes.

Some experts who didn’t participate in the work urged caution in interpreting the results.

James Hill, an obesity expert at the University of Colorado, called the work good science. Still, overall, “I do not think there is enough data yet to lead to a definitive conclusion about artificial sweeteners and the body’s handling of sugar,” he wrote in an email.

“I certainly do not think there is sufficient evidence to conclude that they are harmful.”

But Yanina Pepino of Washington University in St. Louis said the results make a convincing case that sweeteners hamper the body’s handling of sugar by altering gut bacteria. And it adds to her belief that sweeteners and sugar should be used in moderation, especially by children, she said. Read more in Washington Post.

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  1. Zero Calorie Sweeteners
    Splenda is ordinary sugar with added
    Chlorine which is added to the sugar in a
    laboratory to make the body reject it,
    so that that the body has a hard time
    storing it as fat.
    The sweet taste is the sugar, the
    strange aftertaste is the chlorine.
    A packet of Splenda actually contains
    ¼ of the calories as sugar, but they can
    legally write “0 calories” on the label
    because it has very few calories.
    Splenda can cause strong food
    cravings for up to 72 hours later.
    Consuming chemicals from a
    laboratory is not always good for the
    chemistry of our bodies, so it may slow
    down the metabolism, which will
    result in weight gain.

    Other Zero Calorie Sweeteners

    Zero calorie sweeteners are more
    dietetic than sugar, but you are better
    off with no sweeteners at all.
    Like Splenda, the other sweeteners
    may cause strong food cravings for up
    to 72 hours, and like Splenda, it may
    slow down the metabolism, which will
    result in weight gain.
    Stevia and xylitol are considered to be
    safer than the others. Current research
    indicates that they do not slow down
    the metabolism. When scientists
    conduct research on foods that exists
    in the natural world, the research
    tends to be quite reliable. However,
    when scientists conduct research on
    chemicals that are developed in a
    laboratory, the research may not be as
    reliable. Sometimes more time needs
    to transpire to know something
    definitively. Alternative sweeteners
    are developed in a laboratory and
    what is understood today about stevia
    and xylitol may change.
    Don’t think that sugar is more dietetic than fake sugar. It’s true that fake sugar is bad for your
    health, may cause cravings, and slow down your metabolism, but real sugar is bad for your
    health, causes cravings, slows down your metabolism, AND has calories!
    So between the two, fake sugar is better than real sugar for weight loss.

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