I’ve got good news and bad news.
The good news is if you’ve been following our advice for the last seven years or so the bad news I’m about to share won’t affect you. The bad news is that artificial sweeteners—which are hidden in everything from salad dressings to bread—ARE as bad as we’ve been warning they could be.
According to researchers from the University of Manitoba artificial sweeteners can wreak havoc on your metabolism, gut flora and appetite.
And for folks who consume a lot of fake sugars that can have real world consequences.
Artificial sweeteners linked to dangerous diseases
The study, which was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, is an in depth review of 37 different studies that gathered data from over 400,000 folks over an average of 10 years.1
Although artificial sweeteners were created to help folks manage their weight the researchers found that the dieters using them didn’t lose weight consistently. In fact, they were likely to have gained weight.
But the long term observational studies the scientists took a deeper dive into revealed something even more sinister. The fake sugar users had a higher risk for diseases that can drive you into an early grave including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Fake sugars may be making us fat and sick
Unfortunately the kind of research that’s been done on artificial sweeteners up until now has mostly been observational. Which means there have been few randomized clinical trials, which are the gold standard of research.
And while the randomized clinical trials that have been done reveal that artificial sweeteners fail miserably at helping us manage our weight, they also highlight something else.
Millions of folks around the world have essentially been unknowing participants in a huge and dangerous experiment: one which could turn out to have disastrous health consequences. In fact, it may already have.
Obesity, and obesity-related diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, have reached epidemic proportions as artificial sweetener use has increased. And prior research has already hinted at the links between the two, as well as other troubling health problems.
The case against artificial sweeteners
For years now research has been building against fake sugars, finding that in some cases they could do the exact opposite of what their makers claim.
For example, in a study presented at the 99th annual meeting of the Endocrine Society researchers revealed these chemical concoctions are linked to metabolic dysfunction, and can trigger our bodies to crank out even more fat.2
When stem cells were exposed to the artificial sweetener sucralose (Splenda) they began pumping out extra fat. And scientists warn the effect may be even worse in the folks who need to lose weight the most.
Other studies have linked the fake sugars in our food to weight gain, a bigger belly and diabetes.3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 And research published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found a potential link between the popular artificial sweetener aspartame (NutraSweet) and a higher risk of stroke and heart attack.11
If you haven’t sworn off the artificial sweeteners yet it’s time. They won’t help you manage your weight, and they could be sending you speeding towards illness and an early grave.
1. “Nonnutritive sweeteners and cardiometabolic health: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials and prospective cohort studies,” CMAJ July 17, 2017 vol. 189 no. 28, Accessed: 7/18/2017
2. 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: 7/18/2017
3. “Sucralose affects glycemic and hormonal responses to an oral glucose load,” Diabetes Care. 2013, Sep;36(9):2530-5, Accessed: 7/18/2017
4 “Cephalic phase insulin release in healthy humans after taste stimulation?.” Appetite. 2008 Nov;51(3):622-7, Accessed: 7/18/2017
5. 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, Accessed: 7/18/2017
6. “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, Accessed: 7/18/2017
7. “Intense sweeteners, energy intake and the control of body weight.” Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007;61:691-700, Accessed: 7/18/2017
8. “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, Accessed: 7/18/2017
9. “Fueling the Obesity Epidemic? Artificially Sweetened Beverage Use and Long-term Weight Gain,” Obesity, Volume 16, Issue 8, August 2008, Accessed: 7/18/2017
10. “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, Accessed: 7/18/2017
11. ”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, Accessed: 7/18/2017
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