Study: Artificial sweeteners may do more harm than good

July 12, 2013 at 2:00 AM
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., July 12 (UPI) -- People who regularly consume artificially sweetened beverages have an increased risk for negative health outcomes such as type 2 diabetes, U.S. researchers say.

Susan E. Swithers, a professor of psychological sciences and a behavioral neuroscientist at Purdue University, and colleagues analyzed previously published studies involving the effects of consuming artificial sweeteners and potential adverse health outcomes.

The negative impact of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages on weight and other health outcomes has been increasingly recognized and many turned to high-intensity sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose and saccharin as a way to reduce the risk of these consequences.

The study, published in Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, said accumulating evidence suggests frequent consumers of these sugar substitutes might also be at increased risk of excessive weight gain, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The researchers hypothesize the artificial sweeteners might confuse the body because when people eat something tasting sweet, but no real sugar is introduced into the blood system, it might throw off the body's response and induce metabolic derangements.

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