gpolit.com
gpolit.com July 22, 2017


Artificial Sweeteners In Diet Fizzy Drinks May Be Making You Gain Weight

17 July 2017, 05:09 | Darrell Baldwin

Artificial Sweeteners In Diet Fizzy Drinks May Be Making You Gain Weight

Artificial sweeteners may set the stage for diabetes in some people by hampering the way their bodies handle sugar according to results of a study released Wednesday by the journal Nature

Researchers sifted through more than 11,000 studies on sweeteners, including both artificial sweeteners, like aspartame and sucralose, and natural options like stevia, to find the highest quality and longest-term research.

Dr. Ryan Zarychanski, Assistant Professor, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba and an author of the study said: "Despite the fact that millions of individuals routinely consume artificial sweeteners, relatively few patients have been included in clinical trials of these products". While more research needs to be done, from what we know now, "there is no clear benefit for weight loss, and there's a potential association with increased weight gain, diabetes and other negative cardiovascular outcomes", says Azad.

In an attempt get more solid answers, the research team analysed data from 37 separate studies - 7 clinical trials and 30 cohort studies - which monitored more than 400,000 people in total, for an average period of 10 years.

"Ultimately, we found no consistent proof that the sweeteners help reduce weight", says Meghan Azad, a scientist at the Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, and the study's lead author. Another study published earlier this year found that a quarter of US children and 41 percent of adults reported consuming them, majority once per day.

Consumption of artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, sucralose and the more recently popular stevia is on the increase, however evidence on their potential health effects of these sweeteners has so far been conflicting.

"Given the widespread and increasing use of artificial sweeteners, and the current epidemic of obesity and related diseases, more research is needed to determine the long-term risks and benefits of these products". Some researchers speculate that the sweeteners interfere with a person's microbiome, a collection of gut bacteria crucial for the absorption of nutrients.

The neurologists at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, conducted a series of studies to establish the impact on health of artificial sweeteners.

Azad suggests that consumers who turn to artificial sweeteners on the assumption that they're a healthier choice should to be cautious.

This is quite the opposite of their intended use, since artificial sweeteners have been developed to combat obesity.

"Different bacteria are selected and that change may influence how much weight you gain on a long-term basis", Azad said.

Because artificial sweeteners have been associated with health problems, experts have several working theories to explain the link. Jane Shearer, an associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Calgary who is studying these sweeteners, notes the number of products that contain sugar substitutes has grown significantly in Canada in the past five years, with energy drinks, no-sugar-added ice creams, yogurt and even some bread products.

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.

The findings were detailed in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.



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