Although many people think diet soda is a healthier option than other sugary drinks, a new study has found that having beverages using artificial sweeteners can still lead to diabetes and obesity.
Researchers alternately treated rats with concentrated dosing of sugar (glucose) and substitutes - aspartame and acesulfame potassium, two chemical compounds popularly found in the branded sweeteners Equal and Sweet One, respectively. Furthermore, they discovered acesulfame potassium appeared to accumulate in the blood, with a higher concentration. "If you chronically consume these foreign substances [as with sugar] the risk of negative health outcomes increases".
'Despite the addition of these non-caloric artificial sweeteners to our everyday diets, there has still been a drastic rise in obesity and diabetes, ' assistant professor Brian Hoffmann, who led the study, said.
"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", Hoffmann explained.
'We also observed that replacing these sugars with non-caloric artificial sweeteners leads to negative changes in fat and energy metabolism'.
During recent years, excessive sugar intake has been conclusively paired with obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease - all of which are now solidly tied to the overconsumption of sugar.
Artificial sweeteners could be linked to diabetes and obesity, according to a study of rats and cell cultures.
But a new set of research indicates that the artificial sweeteners bring with them some similar risks of the those very health conditions - but in a different metabolic pathway. The key here is not about which sugar is better, it's about consuming them with moderation. If you want to sweeten your food or drink use real sugar instead. "This most likely occurs by increasing glucose entry into cells through increased activity of genes called glucose transporters".
The study was presented on April 22 at the American Physiological Society's annual meeting, during the Experimental Biology 2018 meeting in San Diego.
Sugar is the enemy, but so are those sugar replacements (allegedly).
Compared to diets laden with sugar, which simply overpower the body's ability to produce the regulatory hormone insulin, Hoffman said the artificial sweeteners may "kinda trick the body" into thinking it's receiving calories when it ain't, which can throw insulin levels out of whack.