It might be true that sugar is our number one enemy when it comes to getting fat, or developing chronic diseases, but a new study performed on lab mice shows that artificial sweeteners could be connected to obesity and diabetes too!
A team at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Marquette University has decided to test their theory on cell cultures from rats. Even if the studies were not conducted on humans, and the results may differ, it shines a new light on sugar and its artificial alternatives for scientists to use as a stepping stone.
On 22 April, in San Diego, the Experimental Biology 2018 meeting took place. There, at the American Physiological Society event, the team has presented their study. There, lead author of the study, Dr. Brian Hoffmann, assistant professor in the department of biomedical engineering, at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Marquette University, stated the following:
“In our studies, both sugar and artificial sweeteners seem to exhibit negative effects linked to obesity and diabetes, albeit through very different mechanisms from each other.”
Replacing Sugar with Sweeteners Cause Negative Metabolic Changes
They used lab rats in their study, and have them diets that were high in glucose or fructose – natural types of sugar, and others received artificial sweeteners (aspartame or acesulfame potassium). That’s when, after three weeks, the researchers discovered from analyzing the blood of the rodents that the body can handle sugar, but only in moderation:
“We observed that in moderation, your body has the machinery to handle sugar; it is when the system is overloaded over a long period of time that this machinery breaks down. We also observed that replacing these sugars with non-caloric artificial sweeteners leads to negative changes in fat and energy metabolism.”
However, Dr. Hoffman stated that we won’t solve much from removing artificial sweeteners from the diet. The best type of diet should include healthy foods and moderate consumption:
“Overuse or excessive use of any products is not beneficial to health. In addition, high levels of sweetener intake will still mean we are craving and desiring sugary foods without any ‘energy intake’ and there are question marks about the impact of this on satiety.”
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.