For close to a decade now we’ve been encouraging folks to lay off the artificial sweeteners. We’ve warned our readers that they can wreak havoc with your metabolism, and don’t work as advertised.
We’ve reported on the hidden research revealing that artificial sweeteners can drive up blood sugar, trigger sugar cravings, mess with your gut flora and, ironically, cause you to gain weight.
And now a new study, presented at the Endocrine Society’s 99th annual meeting, has confirmed what we’ve been saying all along, artificial sweeteners are simply bad news.1
Artificial sweeteners trigger belly bulge
According to lead researcher Dr. Sen, these low-calorie chemical nightmares cause metabolic dysfunction, which triggers our bodies to crank out MORE fat. And the effect appears to be even worse in those of us that need to lose the most weight!
When the researchers tested the popular artificial sweetener sucralose (Splenda) on stem cells designed to promote fat production, the sweetener-treated cells started pumping out extra fat and became inflamed.
And we’re not talking about a boatload full of sucralose here, either. In fact it would be equal to about what you’d get if you drank four cans of diet soda a day.
But the study didn’t stop there. The scientists then recruited some folks who regularly eat artificial sweeteners. Four of the group were at a healthy weight and four were obese.
Sweetener exposed fat cells gobble up MORE sugar
The researchers took abdominal fat samples from all eight volunteers and compared them to samples from people who don’t eat the fake sugars.
It turns out more sugar found its way into the cells of the fat taken from the folks who eat artificial sweeteners, and their fat-producing genes were working overtime too.
Still not convinced to give up your diet drinks and food? Keep reading.
The more you need to lose, the more you have to lose
Researchers also found that the folks who regularly downed artificial sweeteners had up to two and a half times more sweet taste receptors in their abdominal fat than the non-sweetener crowd.
And the volunteers who were overweight had it the worst of all, with far more sugar getting sucked in.
In other words, the chubbier you are the more likely you will be to pack on the fat when eating artificially sweetened diet foods.
The researchers warn that with more glucose entering the cells, folks who are pre-diabetic or diabetic need to be especially careful about using artificial sweeteners.
If you’ve been following Healthier Talk for a while the results of this latest study won’t likely come as a total surprise, of course.
After all, we already knew that artificial sweeteners are associated with a higher risk of diabetes, and are linked to weight gain and a larger waist size. 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9
And that research has linked, another popular artificial sweetener, aspartame, to a higher risk of stroke and heart attack.10
But this latest research adds even more fuel to the fire. And gives us yet one more solid reason to ban artificial sweeteners from our diet.
So go ahead and trade in your diet drinks for water, tea and coffee instead. And give up those so called diet foods and fix far tastier—not to mention healthier—fresh meals instead. Your taste buds, and your body, will thank you.
1. “Low-calorie sweeteners promote fat accumulation in human fat,” The Endocrine Society, ENDO 2017: The Endocrine Society’s 99th Annual Meeting & Expo, endocrine.org, Accessed: 4/4/2017
2.“Sucralose affects glycemic and hormonal responses to an oral glucose load,” Diabetes Care. 2013, Sep;36(9):2530-5
3 “Cephalic phase insulin release in healthy humans after taste stimulation?.” Appetite. 2008 Nov;51(3):622-7
4. Consumption of artificially and sugar-sweetened beverages and incident type 2 diabetes in the Etude
Epidemiologique aupres des femmes de la Mutuelle Generale de l’Education Nationale-European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013;97(3):517-23
5. “Diet Soda Intake and Risk of Incident Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA),” Diabetes Care 2009 Apr; 32(4): 688-694
6. “Intense sweeteners, energy intake and the control of body weight.” Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007;61:691-700
7. “Dietary patterns matter: diet beverages and cardiometabolic risks in the longitudinal Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study,” Am J Clin Nutr April 2012,,vol. 95 no. 4 909-915
8. “Fueling the Obesity Epidemic? Artificially Sweetened Beverage Use and Long-term Weight Gain,” Obesity, Volume 16, Issue 8, August 2008
9. “Diet soda intake is associated with long-term increases in waist circumference in a biethnic cohort of older adults: the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging,” J Am Geriatr Soc. 2015 Apr;63(4):708-15
10. ”Diet Soft Drink Consumption is Associated with an Increased Risk of Vascular Events in the Northern Manhattan Study,” Journal of General Internal Medicine, September 2012, Volume 27, Issue 9, pp 1120–1126
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