Dear Dr. Mirkin,
Are artificial sweeteners a good alternative for weight loss?
They may not be. At the Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society on June 11, 2009, researchers from the National Institute of Aging reported that those who use artificial sweeteners are twice as likely to develop metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
They are also more likely to be obese and take in more calories, carbohydrates and fats; have higher fasting blood sugar and fasting insulin levels; and have more insulin resistance. This is supported by two other studies (Circulation, January 2008; and Obesity, June 2008).
Artificial sweeteners affect sweet taste receptors in the brain and intestines in the same way that sugar does, causing release of incretin, which increases sugar absorption from the intestines.
A practicing physician for more than 40 years and a radio talk show host for 25, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is one of a very few doctors board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology.
Dr. Mirkin's latest book is The Healthy Heart Miracle, published by HarperCollins. His daily short features on fitness have been heard on CBS Radio News stations since the 1970's.
He has written 16 books including The Sportsmedicine Book, the best-selling book on the subject that has been translated into many languages. Dr. Mirkin did his residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital and over the years he has served as a Teaching Fellow at Johns Hopkins Medical School, Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, and Associate Clinical Professor in Pediatrics at the Georgetown University School of Medicine.
Read more at www.drmirkin.com.
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