Artificial Sweeteners Don't Help People Lose Weight, Review Finds

18 July, 2017, 00:48 | Author: Clint Gray

From the other studies, the team found that regular use of sweeteners was associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, and modest increases in weight and waist circumferences.

Still, there are a lot of uncertainties about artificial sweeteners and weight gain, and some studies continue to show conflicting results with it.

Consumption of artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, sucralose and stevia, is widespread and increasing, according to researchers from the University of Manitoba in Canada.

Scientists from the University of Manitoba looked over 37 existing studies tracking more than 400,000 people for an average of 10 years to work out just how good artificial sweeteners are for you, AAP reports.

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ABC News' chief women's health correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton explained that any sweetener can trigger the same response from the brain, which could contribute to the long-term issues found in this study. When people consume zero calorie sweeteners they feel like they have earned the ability to "cheat" somewhere else in their diet because they managed to avoid calories elsewhere. While further studies need to be conducted, Azad explained that "there is no clear benefit for weight loss, and there's a potential association with increased weight gain, diabetes and other negative cardiovascular outcomes".

For their review, Azad and her colleagues weeded through more than 11,000 published studies, narrowing their review down to seven clinical trials and 30 long-term studies. Therefore, researchers developed this new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Miller PE, Perez V. Low-calorie sweeteners and body weight and composition: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials and prospective cohort studies.

There's a growing body of literature on the potential risks of artificial sweeteners in zero calories drinks, to low-calorie sweets and even in pasta sauces and other processed fare.

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Azad and Sylvetsky Meni say that much more research needs to be done, including looking specifically at different sweeteners rather than grouping them together. But they did not find concrete proof of causation.

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 review looked at the way most people consume these sugary substitutes.

Another possibility is that our bodies have evolved to metabolize sugars in a way that's triggered not by calories or the sugar molecule but by the perception of sweet taste.

Originally developed as an alternative to sugar, artificial sweeteners are used in products such as diet soft drinks and sugar-free candies in an effort to lower sugar intake and combat obesity. She said the studies may have neglected other things that influence weight, such as exercise or overall diet.

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"The caution that the long-term effects of sweeteners are well understood", she stated through a press.

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