Friday, February 6, 2015

Dear Diet Soda: You're not helping - What research has to say about artificially sweetened beverages

Excerpts from a report published in Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism 2013

Artificial sweeteners produce the counterintuitive effect of inducing metabolic derangements

Susan E. Swithers -- Department of Psychological Sciences and Ingestive Behavior Research Center, Purdue University, 703 Third Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA

ASB = artificially sweetened beverage
SSB = sugar sweetened beverage

Weight gain & body fat percentage

The San Antonio Heart Study documented weight change in men and women over a 7–8-year period. That study reported that, among participants who were normal weight or overweight at the beginning of the study, risk of weight gain and obesity were significantly greater in those consuming ASB compared with those who did not.
In a study of two adolescent groups, ASB use was associated with increased body fat percentage at 2-year follow-up.

Metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetes)

A number of studies have reported greater risk of metabolic syndrome for consumers of ASB. Estimates of the increase range from 17% to over 100%, with the magnitude of the risk also depending on which other risk factors were taken into consideration. In studies that also examined the risk of metabolic syndrome with SSB consumption, the increased risk was often similar for SSB and ASB.

Type 2 diabetes

In the European E3N study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, risk for Type 2 diabetes more than doubled for participants in the top 25% of ASB consumption compared with non-consumers. SSB consumption was also associated with increased risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Hypertension and cardiovascular disease

In the Nurses Health Study, risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) was significantly elevated in women who consumed more than two ASB or SSB per day. Similarly, in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, risk of CHD was significantly elevated by ASB and SSB.
Three different studies found a significantly elevated risk for hypertension in women who consumed at least one ASB daily -- at a level similar to that of SSB use.
Results from the Northern Manhattan Study indicated that daily ASB consumption was associated with significantly increased risk of vascular events, at a magnitude similar to daily SSB consumption.

Concluding remarks

Recent data from humans and rodent models have provided little support for ASB in promoting weight loss or preventing negative health outcomes such as Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular events. Instead, a number of studies suggest people who regularly consume ASB are at increased risk compared with those that do not consume ASB; with the magnitude of the increased risks similar to those associated with SSB.


Read more about why your diet pop may be making you fat.

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