An Unintended Consequence Of Diet Soda: Disrupting Friendly Bacteria And Raising Blood Sugar
Diet drinks may have zero calories but those artificial sweeteners are not necessarily sliding through your digestive system unnoticed. According to new research, sugar substitutes can change the guest list at that bacterial party in your intestines known as your microbiota. The researchers who made the finding say that in mice, at least, this disturbance in the internal ecosystem actually raised blood sugar, thus defeating the purpose of these products by increasing risk for type 2 diabetes and obesity. The findings, released today in the Journal Nature, add to a growing understanding that our internal communities of symbiotic bacteria have a profound influence on metabolism and immunity. “It’s a neglected organ,” said the lead researcher on the paper, Eran Elinav, an immunologist with the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. He said he thinks of the human microbiota as a complex ecosystem with thousands of species and sub-species. While bacterial cells are small, they far outnumber those cells we think of as ours. The new results may finally offer an explanation for previous observations and studies showing that people who used a lot of artificial sweeteners don’t always lose weight. But understanding cause and effect is complicated by the fact that being overweight or at risk of diabetes may cause people to choose artificial sweeteners, rather than the sweeteners causing people to gain weight and develop elevated blood sugar. This new research included a handful of experiments on mice and people. One striking observation, said Elinav, was that after 11 weeks, mice given artificial sweeteners in solution ended up the same weight as mice given a sugar solution, even though they consumed fewer calories, and the ones on the artificial stuff had higher blood s Continue reading >>
Diet Soda And Insulin Spikes
I have heard that the main reason why diet drinks, like a diet soda, can be bad on a diet, is that it can spike insulin levels and then your body expects sugar that it does not get. I have taken to the habit of only occasionally having diet drinks with meals, so that any increase in insulin is actually met with food in my system. My question is whether or not this is a good/workable strategy, or whether a diet soda is a diet soda no matter when you drink it and is therefore always a bad idea. Thank you for your time. It doesn’t seem like there’s a short and sweet answer to your inquiry. Unfortunately, scientists still don’t fully understand the influence of artificial sweeteners on the body’s blood sugar and insulin responses. But, here’s the skinny on pairing a meal with your diet soda: the evidence that connects artificial sweeteners to “insulin spiking” is limited. In vitro studies (a.k.a., test-tube studies of cells living outside the body) have shown that cells release more insulin when exposed to some artificial sweeteners. Increased insulin signals a cell to store more energy as fat (rather than use it as fuel), so this might partially explain the correlation between weight gain and artificial sweeteners. However, much more research on this is still needed, so it’s difficult to say if eating a meal with your diet soda makes a difference either way. Reader, you also mention you’ve heard that drinking diet soda might make your body expect sugar when it’s really getting a calorie-free substitute. Although studies on humans show mixed results, researchers think that it could be a possibility because this is generally true in rats — animals predict the calorie content of a food based on how sweet it tastes (and fun fact: humans have sweet ta Continue reading >>
7 Foods That Spike Blood Sugar
1 / 8 7 Foods That Spike Blood Sugar If you have type 2 diabetes, you know about the importance of making healthy mealtime choices. But just as important is staying away from the wrong foods — those that can spike your blood sugar. That's because simple carbohydrates, like white bread and sugary soda, are broken down by the body into sugar, which then enters the bloodstream. Even if you don't have diabetes, these foods can lead to insulin resistance, which means your body's cells don't respond normally to the insulin produced by the pancreas. Here are seven foods you should avoid for better blood sugar control. Continue reading >>
Diet Soda And Diabetes: Things To Consider
Diabetes is a condition characterized by high amounts of sugar in the blood. These high blood sugar levels are a result of the body's inability to either produce or use a hormone called insulin. Insulin's role is to move sugar from the blood and into the cells of the body where it is used to make energy. Contents of this article: Sugary sodas and diabetes Diabetes is marked by high blood sugar, known medically as hyperglycemia. As such, drinks which have a lot of sugar in them should be avoided as they cause spikes in blood sugar. There are three major types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. The immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. There is no direct cause of type 1 diabetes. Factors that can increase the risk of type 1 diabetes include: Drinking cow's milk at an early age may also play a role in type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. The body is unable to use insulin fully or make enough of it to keep up with sugar intake. Type 2 diabetes shows links to: Inactivity Genes Age Family history of type 2 diabetes Gestational diabetes Gestational diabetes affects women during pregnancy. If the body cannot make enough insulin to carry the sugar to cells to be used or if there is insulin resistance present, the woman may be diagnosed with gestational diabetes. One recent study posted in the BMJ found a link between drinking sugary drinks and the risk of type two diabetes. Another study posted in Diabetes Care found that people who drink 1-2 sugar-sweetened drinks every day have a 26 percent greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who do not. Other things to consider about sugar-sweetened sodas: Plaque loves soda: The bacteria that make Continue reading >>
Will Diet Coke Raise Blood Sugar Levels Up In Diabetics?
People with diabetes often switch to sugar-free products if they want to indulge a craving. For example, they might try sugar-free cookies or diet products that are made especially for diabetics or contain no added sugars. Based on that concept, switching to drinking Diet Coke might seem like the best choice. However, diabetics need to consider certain things before trying diet sodas. Video of the Day Diet Coke contains two sweeteners: aspartame and acesulfame-K, also known as acesulfame potassium. Diet Coke also contains artificial colorings and flavorings that have no effect on blood sugar. Blood Sugar Reactions Both sweeteners used in Diet Coke are considered safe for diabetes, according to Mayo Clinic. However, while the artificial sweeteners won’t raise blood sugar, the caffeine in it might. A 2004 study led by researchers at Duke University showed that caffeine consumption can increase blood sugar levels by up to 8 percent. Scientists are not sure why caffeine has this effect on glucose but are still recommending diabetic patients cut down their caffeine consumption as much as possible. Although the sweeteners in Diet Coke don’t directly affect blood sugar levels, they can still lead to other problems. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the sweet taste of Diet Coke can confuse your brain. In normal circumstances, sweet foods have lots of calories. When you drink diet soda, your brain is expecting you to consume calories. When you don’t, your hunger will increase, forcing you to eat more to make up for the calories your brain is expecting. The cravings for extra food can be cravings for carbohydrates as well, which would affect your blood sugar. So indirectly, Diet Coke can affect your glucose if you don’t pay attention and give in to the cra Continue reading >>
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Question: In Patients With Type 2 Diabetes, Does Diet Soda Consumption Contribute To Decline In Blood Sugar Control?
Go to: SUMMARY OF THE EVIDENCE As the effectiveness of substituting ASBs for SSBs for weight loss and improvement of glucose control in type 2 diabetics has been called into debate, the obvious question arises: could these compounds have the opposite of their intended effect and actually negatively influence blood sugar control? Relatively few high powered randomized controlled studies have been done to study this. Hence, the most reliable articles tend to be meta-analyses. According to a 2014 meta-analysis by Christopher Gardener et al, the body of evidence for the direct effects of ASBs on glycemic control is severely limited.4 Many studies have compared Non-nutritive Sweeteners (NNS) to placebo looking for any ill effect on glycemic control with null results. However, these studies fail to address the potential effect of replacing SSBs with ASBs in the diet. The studies that directly compare NNS to sugars are limited by low sample size and other potential confounders. Although weight does not directly affect glucose control in diabetics, it is commonly accepted that a decreased BMI is correlated with a lower HgbA1C. A meta-analysis (by Paige E Miller et al) of 15 randomized controlled trials evaluated weighted mean differences in body weight and body composition between a study group using low-calorie sweeteners (LCS) such as aspartame, saccharin, steviol glycosides, or sucralose in experimental groups and full-calorie control groups. The differences were consistent with the conclusion that substituting LCS for sugar (full-calorie) resulted in a modest decrease in body weight (−0.80 kg; 95% CI: −1.17, −0.43) and may be useful in weight management.5 LCSs were also correlated with modest improvements in BMI, fat mass, and waist circumference. A double-blind cross Continue reading >>
Could Artificial Sweeteners Raise Your Blood Sugar?
Sept. 17, 2014 -- If you’re one of the millions of Americans for whom diet sodas and artificially sweetened desserts play leading roles in efforts to shed pounds and help prevent long-term diseases like diabetes, new research might give you pause. The work, done with mice and humans, suggests that artificial sweeteners could raise your blood sugar levels more than if you indulged in sugar-sweetened sodas and desserts. Blame it on the bugs in your gut, scientists say. They found that saccharin (a.k.a. Sweet‘N Low), sucralose (a.k.a. Splenda) and aspartame (a.k.a. NutraSweet and Equal) raised blood sugar levels by dramatically changing the makeup of the gut microorganisms, mainly bacteria, that are in the intestines and help with nutrition and the immune system. There are trillions of them -- many times more than the cells of the body -- and they account for roughly 4 pounds of your body weight. Scientists in recent years have focused more and more on the link between the gut microorganisms and health. In the latest research, “what we are seeing in humans and also in mice is this previously unappreciated correlation between artificial sweetener use” and microorganisms in the gut, said Eran Elinav, MD, one of the scientists involved in the new study. Elinav and a collaborator, Eran Segal, PhD, spoke at a press conference held by Nature, the journal that published their team’s findings. Both of the scientists are on the faculty of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. “Initially, we were surprised by the results, which is why we also repeated them multiple times,” Segal said. Industry groups said the small number of mice and people studied make the findings hard to apply to larger populations. But one scientist not involved in the research called the sm Continue reading >>
8 Sneaky Things That Raise Your Blood Sugar Levels
Skipping breakfast iStock/Thinkstock Overweight women who didn’t eat breakfast had higher insulin and blood sugar levels after they ate lunch a few hours later than they did on another day when they ate breakfast, a 2013 study found. Another study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that men who regularly skipped breakfast had a 21 percent higher chance of developing diabetes than those who didn’t. A morning meal—especially one that is rich in protein and healthy fat—seems to stabilize blood sugar levels throughout the day. Your breakfast is not one of the many foods that raise blood sugar. Here are some other things that happen to your body when you skip breakfast. Artificial sweeteners iStock/Thinkstock They have to be better for your blood sugar than, well, sugar, right? An interesting new Israeli study suggests that artificial sweeteners can still take a negative toll and are one of the foods that raise blood sugar. When researchers gave mice artificial sweeteners, they had higher blood sugar levels than mice who drank plain water—or even water with sugar! The researchers were able to bring the animals’ blood sugar levels down by treating them with antibiotics, which indicates that these fake sweeteners may alter gut bacteria, which in turn seems to affect how the body processes glucose. In a follow-up study of 400 people, the research team found that long-term users of artificial sweeteners were more likely to have higher fasting blood sugar levels, reported HealthDay. While study authors are by no means saying that sugary beverages are healthier, these findings do suggest that people who drink artificially sweetened beverages should do so in moderation as part of a healthy diet. Here's what else happens when you cut artificial sweetener Continue reading >>
Diet Sodas And Diabetes?
In the 1980s, throughout the development of sucralose (Splenda), more than 100 studies were conducted to assess its effect on human health, including its potential to impact blood glucose, or blood sugar. There was no impact. As a result, Splenda was determined safe, including for persons with diabetes, by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration, the World Health Organization, and virtually every other leading health organization worldwide. Gut sweet taste receptors But in recent years, the discovery of gut sweet taste receptors in the body have led some to question Splenda’s safety. It appears that Splenda activates these receptors. But would activating them mean anything? Would doing so raise blood sugar? The data suggest not. Clinical trials conducted since the FDA’s approval of Splenda have significantly added to the conclusion that Splenda does not affect blood sugar levels.1,2,3 But the hysteria continued. Some anti-Splenda crusaders have argued that most of the studies involved just one dose of the sugar substitute. Splenda, diet sodas, and diabetes? | New research So this year, scientists from Leicester Clinical Research Centre in the United Kingdom decided to create an air-tight case against the Splenda-phobic crowd. They conducted an impeccably-designed, randomized controlled trial4 that investigated the effect of Splenda intake three times per day for 12 weeks. The amount of Splenda consumed was pretty hefty – the equivalent of five cans of diet soda each day. Forty-seven healthy men with no personal or family histories of diabetes participated in the study. Half of the group was randomly selected to be the Splenda consumers. The other half took a placebo. The study evaluated key measures in the prevention and control of type 2 diabetes, including: HbA1c, Continue reading >>
How Artificial Sweeteners Affect Blood Sugar And Insulin
Sugar is a hot topic in nutrition. Cutting back can improve your health and help you lose weight. Replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners is one way to do that. However, some people claim that artificial sweeteners aren't as "metabolically inert" as previously thought. For example, it's been claimed that they can raise blood sugar and insulin levels. This article takes a look at the science behind these claims. Artificial sweeteners are synthetic chemicals that stimulate the sweet taste receptors on the tongue. They are often called low-calorie or non-nutritive sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners give things a sweet taste, without any added calories (1). Therefore, they're often added to foods that are then marketed as "health foods" or diet products. They're found everywhere, from diet soft drinks and desserts, to microwave meals and cakes. You'll even find them in non-food items, such as chewing gum and toothpaste. Here's a list of the most common artificial sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners are synthetic chemicals that make things taste sweet without any extra calories. We have tightly controlled mechanisms to keep our blood sugar levels stable (2, 3, 4). Blood sugar levels increase when we eat foods containing carbohydrates. Potatoes, bread, pasta, cakes and sweets are some foods that are high in carbohydrates. When digested, carbohydrates are broken down into sugar and absorbed into the bloodstream, leading to an increase in blood sugar levels. When our blood sugar levels rise, our body releases insulin. Insulin is a hormone that acts like a key. It allows blood sugar to leave the blood and enter our cells, where it can be used for energy or stored as fat. If blood sugar levels drop too low, our livers release stored sugar to stabilize it. This happens when we fas Continue reading >>
Artificial Sweeteners: Any Effect On Blood Sugar?
Can I use artificial sweeteners if I have diabetes? Answers from M. Regina Castro, M.D. You can use most sugar substitutes if you have diabetes, including: Saccharin (Sweet'N Low) Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal) Acesulfame potassium (Sunett) Sucralose (Splenda) Stevia (Pure Via, Truvia) Artificial sweeteners, also called sugar substitutes, offer the sweetness of sugar without the calories. Artificial sweeteners are many times sweeter than sugar, so it takes a smaller amount to sweeten foods. This is why foods made with artificial sweeteners may have fewer calories than those made with sugar. Sugar substitutes don't affect your blood sugar level. In fact, most artificial sweeteners are considered "free foods" — foods containing less than 20 calories and 5 grams or less of carbohydrates — because they don't count as calories or carbohydrates on a diabetes exchange. Remember, however, other ingredients in foods containing artificial sweeteners can still affect your blood sugar level. More research is needed, but studies are increasingly finding that the benefits of substituting sugar-sweetened food and beverages with those that have been sweetened artificially may not be as clear as once thought, particularly when consumed in large amounts. One reason may be a "rebound" effect, where some people end up consuming more of an unhealthy type of food because of the misperception that because it's sugar-free it's healthy. Also, be cautious with sugar alcohols — including mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol. Sugar alcohols can increase your blood sugar level. And for some people, sugar alcohols may cause diarrhea. Continue reading >>
The Best And Worst Drinks For Diabetics
Drinks for Diabetics iStock When you have diabetes, choosing the right drink isn’t always simple. And recent studies may only add to the confusion. Is coffee helpful or harmful to insulin resistance? Does zero-calorie diet soda cause weight gain? We reviewed the research and then asked three top registered dietitians, who are also certified diabetes educators, what they tell their clients about seven everyday drinks. Here’s what to know before you sip. Drink More: Water iStock Could a few refreshing glasses of water assist with blood sugar control? A recent study in the journal Diabetes Care suggests so: The researchers found that people who drank 16 ounces or less of water a day (two cups’ worth) were 30 percent more likely to have high blood sugar than those who drank more than that daily. The connection seems to be a hormone called vasopressin, which helps the body regulate hydration. Vasopressin levels increase when a person is dehydrated, which prompts the liver to produce more blood sugar. How much: Experts recommend six to nine 8-ounce glasses of water per day for women and slightly more for men. You’ll get some of this precious fluid from fruit and vegetables and other fluids, but not all of it. “If you’re not in the water habit, have a glass before each meal,” recommends Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RD, CDE, CDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and author of The African American Guide to Living Well with Diabetes. “After a few weeks, add a glass at meals too.” Drink More: Milk iStock Moo juice isn’t just a kids’ drink. It provides the calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin D your body needs for many essential functions. Plus, research shows it may also boost weight loss. In one study of 322 people trying to sl Continue reading >>
Does Drinking Diet Soda Increase Your Blood Sugar?
If you're watching your blood sugar levels, you're probably aware that drinking regular soda can quickly cause your blood sugar levels to spike due to the large amounts of easily absorbed sugars it contains. But you might not be aware that diet soda may also have an effect on your blood sugar levels, although research in this area isn't conclusive. Drinking diet soda by itself isn't likely to cause spikes in your blood sugar levels. A study published in "Diabetes Care" in December 2009 found that drinking diet soda had the same effect on blood sugar and insulin levels as drinking carbonated water. When consumed along with carbohydrates in the form of glucose, however, the diet soda did increase the amount of a substance called GLP-1 in the blood that may delay stomach emptying and minimize the effect of the carbohydrates on after-meal blood sugar levels, although more research is needed to verify this effect. Fasting Blood Sugar Consuming diet soda at least once a day was associated with an increased fasting blood sugar level and a higher waist circumference compared to not consuming any soda, according to a study published in "Diabetes Care" in April 2009. This translated to a 67 percent higher chance of developing type-2 diabetes and a 36 percent higher risk for metabolic syndrome. Another study, published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" in April 2012, compared the effects of drinking diet soda on people following either a healthier diet or a typical Western diet and found that people following the healthier diet had a lower risk for metabolic syndrome than those following the Western diet. In addition, the study indicated that drinking diet soda sometimes, but not always, increased the risk for metabolic syndrome somewhat even when following the healt Continue reading >>
Diet Soda And Diabetes
In reply to my recent blog entry “Stopping Diabetes Medicines,” Patsy wrote: “I have stop[ped] drinking Diet Cokes, or anything with artificial sweeteners. I can’t tell you what a difference that has made! … I am overweight and have lost 14 pounds. My blood sugar has gone down, too.” How could this be? How could diet sodas, which have essentially no carbohydrates and no calories, raise blood glucose and weight? Or is the whole thing an illusion? Four studies in the last decade have raised concerns about diet soda. In 2005, University of Texas researchers reported that people who drank diet soda were more likely to gain weight than those drank regular soda. Fewer calories = more weight! Strange… In 2006, Dartmouth scientists found that people with diabetes who drank one or more cans of diet soda a day raised their A1C levels by an average of 0.7%, compared to those who didn’t. In 2007, the American Heart Association found that those who drank either regular or diet soda had a higher risk of “metabolic syndrome,” which includes diabetes, high blood pressure, high levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and obesity, compared to nondrinkers. This is just a correlation; it doesn’t show cause, but it’s still interesting. In the January 16, 2009 issue of Diabetes Care, a group of analysts reviewing the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis found that “Daily consumption of diet soda was associated with… a 67% greater relative risk of… Type 2 diabetes compared to non-consumption.” They said the increased diabetes was not due to increased weight, although that happened too. “Associations between diet soda consumption and Type 2 diabetes were independent of baseline measures of adiposity or changes in these measures,” they wrote. The data was adj Continue reading >>
How Does Diet Soda Affect Diabetes?
Many of us who enjoy fizzy drinks select diet soda as a healthier option than the normal soda. Even if we have with diabetes, we feel that diet soda has less sugar and is therefore not harmful to us. Sadly, that’s not entirely true. Let’s find out how does diet soda affect diabetics. Pros of Drinking Diet Soda with Diabetes: Diet soda contains artificial sweeteners, which are also referred to as non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) or non-caloric sweeteners. They have a higher intensity of sweetness per gram than caloric sweeteners like sucrose. Popular artificial sweeteners like aspartame, acesulfame-K, neotame, saccharin, and sucralose are regulated as food additives by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). Aspartame and saccharin, commonly found in diet sodas, are both FDA reviewed and approved. Besides FDA, most sweeteners used in diet sodas are approved by World Health Organization (WHO) and/ or Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The American Diabetes Association (ADA) lists diet soda as safe for diabetics to consume. Diet soda is typically sweetened with one of five artificial sweeteners. These sweeteners do not contain calories (or have less than 20 calories), and the ADA reports that they do not cause a blood glucose reaction. Furthermore, carbohydrate content in diet soda is less (less than 5 gm) when compared to that of regular soda. Also, the calorie content in diet soda is less than that of regular soda. Risks Of Diet Soda For Diabetics According to Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit medical practice and medical research group based in Rochester, Minnesota, while the artificial sweeteners may not raise blood sugar, the caffeine in it might. A 2004 study at Duke University showed that caffeine consumption can increase blood sugar levels by up to Continue reading >>