Low-calorie artificial sweeteners found in diet drinks actually 'raise the risk of diabetes and obesity'
Millions rely on them to help them stay thin. But low-calorie artificial sweeteners actually raise the risk of obesity, researchers fear.
The popular sugar alternatives found in diet drinks and in sachets in cafes and restaurants may also increase the odds of diabetes.
The sweeteners under the microscope are saccharin, which is found in Sweet’N Low, sucralose, which is found in Splenda, and aspartame, which is found in many diet drinks.
The Israeli researchers that ‘today’s massive, unsupervised consumption’ of artificial sweeteners needs to be reassessed.
The warning at a time when growing concern about the damage done by sugar is likely to mean more people are switching to artificial alternatives.
British experts urged caution, saying that much of the work was done in mice. But they also said that water is the healthiest drink.
The researchers, from the Weizmann Institute of Science, first showed that all three sweeteners made it more difficult for mice to process sugar.
This is known as glucose intolerance and is important because it raises risk of developing diabetes and obesity.
In a study of almost 400 people, the researchers linked artificial sweetener with being fatter and glucose intolerance.
And, worryingly, volunteers who didn’t normally eat or drink artificially-sweetened foods began to become glucose intolerant after just four days of consumption.
The numbers affected were small – just four out of seven men and women in the trial – but the research overall was judged significant enough to be published in Nature one of the world’s most prestigious scientific journals.
Other experiments suggested the sweeteners do the damage by altering type of bacteria in the gut.
While this might seem odd, some of the bugs that live naturally in our digestive system are very good at breaking down food.
If they thrive on artificial sweeteners, this could lead to more energy being extracted from food and more fat being stored – raising the odds of obesity.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2759723/Low-calorie-artificial-sweeteners-RAISE-risk-obesity.html#ixzz3FkUNUXRs
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