Do Artificial Sweeteners Pave the Pathway to Diabetes?
Does the use of artificial sweeteners in the human diet lead to an increased risk for the development of diabetes mellitus? Expect the equivalent of a slug fest in words among experts on both sides of the issue until definitive study results answer this question.
Non-caloric artificial sweeteners are an ingredient in so many foods and beverages, but the long-term effects of ingesting these substances has mainly been an issue for theories.
A study conducted in Rehovet, Israel published results of their scientific findings in the Sept. 17, 2014 issue of Nature . The study investigated the results of giving one of three artificial sweeteners -- aspartame, saccharin and sucralose -- to mice for 11 weeks. Additional mice were given either sugar water or plain water for the same period of time.
At the end of that period, all the mice were given sugar, then the glucose levels of all the mice were obtained. The mice who had been given sugar water or plain water showed about the same blood sugar levels, but the mice who had been given one of the three artificial sweeteners all had elevated blood sugar levels.
Two preliminary tests on humans were also conducted, with those results to be found here .
The thinking at this time is that in some people, eating and/or drinking products with artificial sweeteners may alter the normal gut bacteria, setting up glucose intolerance -- one of the predisposing factor of diabetes mellitus.
What further research will show remains to be seen, but it seems imperative that delving into this theory and study in further detail.
In the meantime, whether you choose to change your dietary habits based on these early results is a personal choice.
References: Nature.com; Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering gut microbiota ; Sept. 17, 2014 Also -- Abstract at PubMed .gov.
APS; Artificial sweeteners may promote diabetes ; Sept. 29, 2014
FDA.gov; High-Intensity Sweeteners
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