Health Care

Why caution may be warranted when consuming artificial sweeteners

Why caution may be warranted when consuming artificial sweeteners

In addition, the cohort studies showed that there was an association between nonnutritive sweetener consumption and increases in weight and waist circumference, as well as a greater prevalence of obesity, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular events.

But new Canadian research published Monday suggests that artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, sucralose and stevia, may be doing more harm than good.

The university found that new data indicates artificial sweeteners may have a negative effects on metabolism, gut bacteria and appetite.

"We found that data from clinical trials do not clearly support the intended benefits of artificial sweeteners for weight management".

To better understand artificial sweeteners' link to negative long-term weight and health, a team from University of Manitoba in Canada conducted a review of 37 studies following more than 400,000 individuals for 10 years on average.

His colleague and lead author Dr Meghan Azad added: 'Caution is warranted until the long-term health effects of artificial sweeteners are fully characterized'.

It's a tough question, Dr. Swithers says, in part because people who report they drink diet pop tend to be heavier and are more likely to have a family history of health problems than those who drink regular pop. "I think we are at a place where we can say that they don't help".

Tucking into food and drink packed with artificial sweeteners could actually be increasing your chances of gaining weight and getting struck down with diabetes, researchers claim.

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According to researchers, the use of artificial sweeteners which is widespread and increasing is linked with the current epidemic of obesity and related diseases.

Finally, your gut microbiome - a collection of hundreds of types of bacteria - is altered by artificial sweeteners.

Ordering a diet soda as a "healthier" choice may be backfiring.

The researchers said there was no consistent weight loss seen in people who took artificial sweeteners. Only 7 of these studies were randomized controlled trials (the gold standard in clinical research), involving 1003 people followed for 6 months on average.

"Right now, sugar is so much in the spotlight as the bad guy causing obesity, causing diabetes", Azad said.

Numerous clinical trials this study drew on didn't align closely with the way people consume such sweeteners in the real world - for instance, trials generally give subjects diet soda or sweetener capsules, while ignoring other sources, such as food. That's even after scientists adjusted for other factors, including smoking and exercise.

There's no evidence that artificial sweeteners alter the way the body processes sugar, she noted, and some research has shown that sugar substitutes do not make a person crave candies more.

You've been watching your sugar intake lately, so you select a diet soft drink from the office pop machine for a cool, refreshing pick-me-up.