Artificial sweeteners may up obesity, heart disease risk

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In addition, the longer observational studies included in the research also showed a link between consumption of artificial sweeteners and relatively higher risks of weight gain and obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and other health issues.

"We found that data from clinical trials do not clearly support the intended benefits of artificial sweeteners for weight management", said study author Dr. Ryan Zarychanski in a statement, who warned that relatively few patients have been part of artificial sweeteners' clinical trials despite their widespread use. What researchers couldn't observe were the deserved effects of artificial sweeteners, namely weight loss or the absence of metabolic problems.

Do artificial sweeteners help us lose weight?

Researchers at the University of Manitoba's George & Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation reviewed 37 studies that followed over 400,000 people for an average of 10 years.

To understand the effect of artificial sweeteners consumed by pregnant women on weight gain, metabolism and gut bacteria of their infants, a team at Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, under the lead author Dr. Meghan Azad, Assistant Professor, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, is undertaking a new study. A previous study found that 25% of American kids and 41% of adults reported consuming them, mostly once a day.

This is how they discovered the link between artificial sweeteners and an increase in waist circumference and weight.

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Thirty of the studies were observational, which have a greater risk of bias because artificial sweetener use is not randomly assigned and people who choose to consume sweeteners may be different from those who don't, in terms of socioeconomic, lifestyles and health-related factors.

"Sweeteners may have adverse effects on glucose metabolism, gut microbiota and appetite control". "They're shifting calories to other foods", Azad explained.

In the CMAJ study, the researchers examined seven randomized control trials, which followed participants for an average of six months. These days aspartame and sucralose aren't just in diet sodas and chewing gum but English muffins and toothpaste as well.

"More research is needed to determine the long-term risks and benefits of these products". Quite the contrary, it seems that people who use the sweeteners on a regular basis are more prone to developing health issues although it is not clear whether there is a direct causation involved. She said the studies may have neglected other things that influence weight, such as exercise or overall diet.

Other research has even pointed to artificial sweeteners disrupting the brain's sensors and feelings of satisfaction.

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 results were published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

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