Do Artificial Sweeteners Cause An Insulin Spike?
178 Comments The notion that artificial sweeteners (and sweet tastes in general) might produce an insulin response is one of those murky memes that winds itself around the blogs, but it’s never stated one way or the other with any sort of confidence. I briefly mentioned the possibility of non-caloric sweeteners influencing satiety hormones in last week’s diet soda post, and a number of you guys mentioned the same thing. Still, I’ve never seen unequivocal evidence that this is the case. This whole idea first came to my attention some time ago when my dog Buddha got into a bottle of “alternative sleep assists” which contained, among other things, 5 HTP (version of l-tryptophan) and xylitol (sugar alcohol). Long story short, dogs can’t take xylitol because it causes a spike in insulin, which then severely depletes blood glucose. Buddha got past this with a trip to the vet’s at 10:30 Sunday night (thanks, Dr. Dean). But it occurred to me that the same effect might be seen in humans, which is why I pose the question today… Do artificial sweeteners induce insulin secretion (perhaps via cephalic phase insulin release, which is sort of the body’s preemptive strike against foods that will require insulin to deal with)? One of the reasons a definitive answer is rarely given is that the question is improperly framed. Artificial sweeteners is not a monolithic entity. There are multiple types of sweeteners, all of them chemically distinct from each other. A more useful question would be “What effect does [specific artificial sweetener goes here] have on insulin?” So let’s go around the circle and ask. Does aspartame (aka Equal and Nutrasweet) affect insulin? Aspartame is pretty gross stuff, what with its awful taste and hordes of people who get terrible react Continue reading >>
Artificial Sweeteners: Agents Of Insulin Resistance, Obesity And Disease
Its pretty clear that if we follow the example of our hunter gatherer ancestors, artificial sweeteners should not be part of contemporary Stone Age diets. In my book, The Paleo Diet Revised (2010) 1 I warned against drinking artificially sweetened soft drinks and further strengthened my opposition to all artificial sweeteners in 2012 with The Paleo Answer .2 Over the past few years numerous epidemiological (population), animal, tissue and human studies have demonstrated the adverse health effects of these synthetic chemicals. A particularly powerful study just published in the October 2014 issue of Nature3 provides a convincing argument against the use of artificial sweeteners in our food supply. If you consume artificial sweeteners in the form of sodas or foods once in a blue moon, they will have little or no adverse effects upon your long term health. However, I would never recommend that you drink artificially sweetened beverages or foods on a daily or even weekly basis, as they may promote insulin resistance, 3, 4 obesity in adults5-7, 30-33 and children,8-11, 32, 44 metabolic syndrome diseases ,12-18, 33 migraine headaches,19-23 adverse pregnancy outcomes,24-26 childhood allergies,24 and certain cancers.27-29 The table* below shows the five artificial sweeteners that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved for consumption. *Note that the artificial sweetener cyclamate was banned in the U.S. in 1969, but is still available in certain countries outside of the U.S. In addition to these artificial sweeteners, the FDA has sanctioned a sugar substitute, stevia , as a dietary supplement since 1995. Stevia is a crystalline substance made from the leaves of a plant native to central and South America and is 100 to 300 times sweeter than table sugar. A conc Continue reading >>
How Artificial Sweeteners Confuse Your Body Into Storing Fat And Inducing Diabetes
Research shows that aspartame worsens insulin sensitivity to a greater degree than sugar Artificial sweeteners promote weight gain by tricking your body into thinking it will receive sugar (calories); when the sugar doesn’t arrive, carb cravings can result Artificial sweeteners likely also cause weight gain by disrupting your intestinal microflora, thereby raising your risk of both obesity and diabetes By Dr. Mercola As noted in the featured video, there are currently five different artificial sweeteners on the market. The one you're most likely to encounter is aspartame, which also tends to be the worst of the bunch. Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners are primarily promoted to diabetics and those concerned about their weight. This despite the fact that artificial sweeteners have repeatedly been shown to produce the exact opposite effects: Artificial sweeteners have also been found to promote weight gain, in more ways than one Over time, artificial sweeteners have also crept into a wide variety of products not directly targeting diabetics and dieters. Artificial sweeteners are added to about 6,000 different beverages, snacks, and food products, making label-reading an ever pressing necessity. Disturbingly, food industry groups are now trying to hide the presence of artificial sweeteners in certain foods... Like GMOs, Industry Wants to Hide Artificial Sweeteners in Foods Last year, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) filed a petition with the FDA requesting the agency amend the standard of identity for milk and 17 other dairy products, in order to allow for the addition of artificial sweeteners without having to indicate their use on the label. The IDFA claims the proposed amendments would "promote more healthful eating practices and reduce childhoo Continue reading >>
Effects Of Stevia, Aspartame, And Sucrose On Food Intake, Satiety, And Postprandial Glucose And Insulin Levels
Go to: The twin epidemics of obesity and Type 2 diabetes continue to increase in industrialized nations. Approximately two thirds of adult Americans are currently overweight or obese and therefore at increased risk for a number of deleterious health conditions including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer (Roth, Qiang, Marban, Redelt, & Lowell, 2004). Although there is not specific evidence that sucrose, a disaccharide that consists of 50% glucose and 50% fructose, consumption affects the development of diabetes (Laville & Nazare, 2009), diets consisting of high amounts of sucrose have been found to cause weight gain (Raben, Vasilaras, Moller, & Astrup, 2002) and to have adverse effects on glucose tolerance in healthy volunteers (Cohen, Teitelbaum, Balogh, & Groen, 1966). Overconsumption of fructose has also been found to cause dyslipidemia and ectopic lipid deposition in healthy subjects with and without a family history of type 2 diabetes (Le et al., 2009), as well as increase visceral adiposity and decrease insulin sensitivity in overweight individuals (Stanhope et al., 2009). In animal models, high glycemic diets and high consumption of the natural sugar fructose have been shown to induce a number of metabolic complications including hyperinsulinemia, hyperglycemia, hypertension, and insulin resistance (Barros et al., 2007). Moreover, recent human studies demonstrate that fructose infusions can induce hepatic insulin resistance (Wei, Wang, Topczewski, & Pagliassotti, 2007). The consumption of added sugars in the United States has increased by almost 20% over the past few decades with current consumption estimated to be 142 lbs per person per year (Wells & Buzby, 2008). Consumption of sugar-sweetened foods and beverages can significantly influence the glycemic Continue reading >>
- Postprandial Blood Glucose Is a Stronger Predictor of Cardiovascular Events Than Fasting Blood Glucose in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Particularly in Women: Lessons from the San Luigi Gonzaga Diabetes Study
- Diabetic Food List: Six Food Groups in Diabetes Food Pyramid
- Why Isn't Postprandial Insulin Assay Being Used to Predict Diabetes Onset?
Do Artificial Sweeteners Cause Insulin Release?
Do Artificial Sweeteners Cause Insulin Release – Why Do People Care So Much? The search for the answer has reached almost mythical status, and is most commonly asked by those following a low carbohydrate diet, such as the Atkins diet. Lets briefly look at the theory behind the Atkins diet, which is outlined but vastly oversimplified on the Atkins webpage. Very simply put, eating carbohydrates leads to increased sugar in the blood stream (from the breakdown of the carbohydrates) that triggers insulin to be released and allow the sugar to be taken in to cells. Some of this sugar is used for energy, but the rest is stored in cells or converted into fat. On a low carb diet, there are no carbohydrates to turn in to sugar so there is no ‘insulin response.’ The body still needs fuel though, and so one of the things it does to compensate is that it turns to breaking down eaten and stored fats for energy thereby promoting fat loss. Whether this is exactly as it seems or not and the validity behind all the claims is the subject of great debate, and for the purposes of the current article I’m going to steer clear of that and stick to the title question. Sweetening a Low Carb Diet, Is It OK? A very low-carb diet is a tough diet to follow, largely because it means no sugar, no cakes, no chocolates, no sweets, no bread, no rice etc. and due to this a logical solution appears to be the use of artificial sweeteners as a way of making the diet more tolerable. There is some concern however that these sweeteners may lead to the release of insulin, and therefore lead to weight gain or plateaus in weight loss by people using these. There are all sorts of opinions out there on this subject; literally hundreds of forum pages are filled with this, and for each person that says they are Continue reading >>
The Awful Truth About Diet Soda And Weight Gain, According To Science
Does diet soda make people gain weight? originally appeared on Quora: the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. Sweet taste without the calories sounds like a perfect example of no pain, all gain but unfortunately cumulative data suggests otherwise. A poster child for unintended consequences, diet soda (Diet drink) typically contains a type of non-caloric artificial sweetener, a sugar substitute called Aspartame, e.g., NutraSweet or Equal (sweetener). Unintended consequences in the form of not just weight gain but also increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus type 2, hypertension and metabolic syndrome, all vigorously disputed, of course (see some examples in references 1, 2), which brings us to the glaring caveat we need to keep front and center when considering the science about artificial sweeteners. Historically the food and beverage industry has funded nutrition research so substantially that the ensuing entrenched conflict of interest renders the phrase "nutrition science" an oxymoron (3). North America currently leads in sales and consumption of diet beverages (see below from 4): Artificial sweetener consumption patterns tend to change rapidly in response to widespread perception of harm attendant to one type of artificial sweetener or another. U.S. artificial sweetener consumption, for example, moved from cyclamate in the 1960s to saccharin, e.g. Sweet'n Low, to aspartame, which reigned supreme for several decades until being upstaged in the 2010s by sucralose, e.g. Splenda, mainly because it's highly stable in food (5) while acesulfame potassium (Ace-K), e.g., Sunett, Sweet & Safe, Sweet One, is also increasing in use. Pepsi embodies such rapid change. In 2015 it changed its U.S. Die Continue reading >>
Non-nutritive Sweeteners Can Increase Insulin Resistance In Those Who Are Obese
Sucralose may adversely affect glucose metabolism. Even though Splenda has zero calories, it can play havoc with your blood sugars. Published in the journal Diabetes Care, researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that sucralose, most popularly known by the brand name Splenda, has effects on the body’s responses to sugar (glucose) — which could thereby impact diabetes risk. “There seem to be differential effects of sucralose on glucose metabolism in normal-weight people and in people with obesity, so previous findings in lean subjects cannot be extrapolated to what will be the effects of sucralose in subjects with obesity (and vice versa),” said Marta Yanina Pepino De Gruev, PhD, assistant professor in food science and human nutrition at the University of Illinois in Urbana. “Clinicians may find surprising that sucralose is not metabolically inert, as generally thought, at least for people with obesity.” The new study included 17 people who were severely obese (They had a body mass index over 42. A BMI of 30 is considered the starting point for obesity) and didn’t regularly consume artificially sweetened products. The study participants drank sucralose or water before taking a glucose challenge test. This test involves drinking a sugary solution before undergoing blood sugar measurements in order to see how well the body responds to sugar; it’s typically used as a tool to determine if a woman has gestational diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic. After that, the researchers asked all the study participants who first drank water to then drink sucralose before undergoing another glucose challenge test, and all those who first drank sucralose to then drink water before undergoing another glucose challenge test. Resear Continue reading >>
Insulin, Weight Gain And Artificial Sweeteners
There is a debate about the risks of artificial sweeteners on insulin levels.Photo Credit: Nastco/iStock/Getty Images Insulin, Weight Gain and Artificial Sweeteners A registered nurse with more than 25 years of experience in oncology, labor/delivery, neonatal intensive care, infertility and ophthalmology, Sharon Perkins has also coauthored and edited numerous health books for the Wiley "Dummies" series. Perkins also has extensive experience working in home health with medically fragile pediatric patients. Since their inception, artificial sweeteners have been hailed as a boon to weight loss. Their health benefits have been questioned, but their weight loss benefits have only recently come under fire. Opponents of artificial sweeteners believe that they can trigger a response that increases insulin release, which can cause weight gain, rather than loss. Proponents firmly stand behind the idea that substances that contain little to no calories cannot trigger an insulin response. Insulin, a hormone released from the pancreas in response to glucose entering the bloodstream, assists cells in absorbing glucose for energy. Insulin plays an essential part in carbohydrate use. But too much insulin release -- which occurs when high levels of glucose in the bloodstream continually stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin -- leads to type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Cells become resistance to insulin, so more insulin must be produced to remove glucose from the bloodstream. Artificial sweeteners do not contain carbohydrates and should not stimulate insulin release. The theory behind the idea that artificial sweeteners can trigger an insulin rise states that sweet foods or substances set off a chemical reaction that leads to insulin release, even when no carbohydrate is Continue reading >>
Artificial Sweeteners Are Linked To Weight Gain—not Weight Loss
TIME Health For more, visit TIME Health. Artificial sweeteners might seem like a low- or no-calorie way to enjoy sweet food and not gain weight. But a new study links them to the opposite. In the report, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, researchers analyzed 37 studies on artificial sweeteners to see if they were successful for weight management. The studies followed more than 400,000 people for about 10 years. Seven of the studies were randomized controlled trials, a type considered to be the gold standard in scientific research. Artificial sweeteners did not appear to help people lose weight. Instead, observational studies that looked at consumption over time suggested that people who regularly consumed them—by drinking one or more artificially-sweetened beverages a day—had a higher risk for health issues like weight gain, obesity, diabetes and heart disease. MORE: Artificial Sweeteners Aren’t the Answer to Obesity. Here’s Why “I think there’s an assumption that when there are zero calories, there is zero harm,” says study author Meghan Azad, an assistant professor in the department of pediatrics and child health at the University of Manitoba in Canada. “This research has made me appreciate that there’s more to it than calories alone.” The new study adds to a growing body of research that suggests sugar substitutes are no magic bullet. “Unfortunately, the quality of evidence that would support using sweeteners is not really strong,” says Susan Swithers, a professor in the department of psychological studies at Purdue University who has also studied artificial sweeteners (but was not involved in the new study). “I think we are at a place where we can say that they don’t help.” It’s not yet clear whether artificial sw Continue reading >>
Can Stevia Hurt Insulin Sensitivity And Lead To Weight Gain?
One staple in natural, sugar-free baking is stevia, a South American herb used as an alternative to refined sugar. Since stevia extract is free from carbohydrates, it does not raise blood sugar levels (or calories, unless fillers are added, like dextrose or maltodextrin). Stevia does, however, raise insulin levels according to some research, which can be both good and bad. A reason why I stay away from sugar is because it raises both blood sugar and insulin. Over time, spikes in blood sugar can cause chronic inflammation, a key contributor to aging, cancer, and even metabolic syndrome. High blood sugar and insulin levels also cause insulin resistance, or type 2 diabetes. While our cells prefer glucose as a prime energy source, if cell receptors are not–well, receptive–to insulin, the glucose just floats around and causes damage. Can Stevia Lead to Diabetes and Weight Gain? It seems that our bodies have a knack for responding to any sweet taste by secreting insulin. Whether the sweet taste be from pure sugar, artificial sweeteners, or natural sweeteners like stevia, the body provides similar insulin responses. This happens when a receptor on our tongue, namely T1R3, is stimulated by a sweet taste (natural or artificial), which then stimulates insulin to bring the “proposed” glucose into the cells. But if there is no measurable rise in blood glucose, like after drinking a tea sweetened with steviaor artificial sweetener, the insulin will store any excess sugar in the body as fat. This may be a reason why diet sodas have been linked to weight gain. It is proposed that our ancestors, when confronted with a carbohydrate source like berries or fruits, would consume them quickly and sometimes in one sitting because they didn’t come across these carbohydrate sources o Continue reading >>
Artificial Sweeteners Affect Metabolism And Insulin Levels
The artificial sweetener sucralose (Splenda®) is capable of changing the body's insulin response, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine reported in the journal Diabetes Care. The study included 17 severely obese people who didn't consume artificial sweeteners often and weren't diagnosed with diabetes. Splenda does have an effect First author M. Yanina Pepino, PhD, research assistant professor of medicine, said: "Our results indicate that this artificial sweetener is not inert - it does have an effect. And we need to do more studies to determine whether this observation means long-term use could be harmful." Study participants had an average body mass index (BMI) of around 42, which is 12 points above the threshold of obesity. The volunteers were given either water or sucralose to drink before a glucose challenge test, which involved consuming a similar glucose dosage to the amount given as part of glucose-tolerance test. The researchers wanted to determine whether insulin or blood sugar levels are affected by the combination of sucralose and glucose. Pepino said that they particularly wanted to study obese people as "these sweeteners frequently are recommended to them as a way to make their diets healthier by limiting calorie intake." However, it should be noted that artificial sweeteners don't necessarily help limit calorie intake. A previous study by scientists in the US suggested that consuming artificial sweeteners could make people put on weight because experiments on laboratory rats showed that those eating food sweetened with artificial sweeteners ate more calories than their counterparts whose food was sweetened with normal sugar. The participants were each tested twice. They were first tested after drinkin water followed by glucose, and then Continue reading >>
Do Artificial Sweeteners Cause Weight Gain?
Do artificial sweeteners cause weight gain? artificial sweeteners , blood sugar , diabetes , diet soda , insulin efficiency , insulin resistance , metabolic syndrome , Olumia Life , overeating , sugar Since their invention, artificial sweeteners have commonly been thought of as ideal substitutes for sugar based on their low caloric content. However, recent studies have shown that, while artificial sweeteners may not have the calories of sugar, they still contribute to overeating, insulin resistance, obesity, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and the metabolic syndrome. The important Framingham Heart Study found that those who drank one or more cans of diet soda per day compared with those drinking less than one were: at a 30% greater risk of adding belly fat 25% more likely to have high blood sugar or high triglycerides Other studies have found that even drinking one can of diet soda per day or more: increased the risk of heart attacks and stroke by 61% caused waistlines to grow 70% more than without drinking diet soda increased the chance of growing overweight by 65% increased the risk of full-blown metabolic syndrome by 34% These numbers dont lie. There is a correlation between consuming artificial sweeteners (or certainly something about diet soda) and numerous health problems. But why? The answer is primarily in how our bodies respond to artificial sweeteners compared to real sugar. When you drink a diet soda, the body is tricked into thinking that sugar is on its way and makes numerous preparations for what it is assuming will be glucose. However, the fake sugar will go right through your body without it ever getting the glucose that it thought was coming. This means you can have a sugar craving following your meal because the body sends out signals that its needs w Continue reading >>
The Cost: Artificial Sweeteners And Safety (backed By Science)
The Cost: Artificial Sweeteners and Safety (Backed By Science) After the previous RadLab article on artificial sweeteners and weight loss , there was a lot of discussion about health and safety concerns with these sweeteners. Just like with the weight loss and weight gain argument, when it comes to sweeteners, the views on health and safety are just as opposing. One expert will claim these are a healthy alternative offering the sweetness of sugar without the added calories and other negative attributes of sugar. The next retorts with life threatening claims of cancer, insulin resistance and diabetes caused by these simulated sugar shams. Its hard to see how something so sweet and little could stir up such a buzz and backlash in the media. So today in the RadLab, Im going to dive into what the research says about artificial sweeteners and their safety. What are the true effects and costs of these artificial sweeteners? Can they induce an insulin response and cause diabetes or do they spare you these sugar-like side-effects? Could their use lead to cancer or are they safe for our health? If you want to know the answers to these and several other burning questions, youll have to read this article and find out Health and Safety of Artificial Sweeteners Artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame potassium (ace-k) and others are common in diet beverages, foods and sugar alternatives, designed as a compound to capture the sweetness of sugar without any of the calories and other negative attributes. But do these sugar-free substitutes come at a cost? Some people point out that artificial sweeteners can still trigger an insulin response, claim they produce toxic levels of methanol and formaldehyde and could even cause cancer. However, those people would not Continue reading >>
Diet Drinks Are Associated With Weight Gain, New Research Suggests
The United States is the world's largest consumer of sugar, and the nation's top nutrition panel recently recommended that Americans cut down on consuming the sweet stuff. So our panelists tested five alternative sweeteners--stevia, sucralose, tagatose, yacón powder and xylitol--to see how they compare with sugar. (The Washington Post) Over the past decade, Americans have soured on artificial sweeteners. Once heralded as sweet substitutes for sugar without as many belt-busting calories, people once couldn't get enough sucralose and aspartame. But recently, people have started looking at the molecules with increasing suspicion, amid studies that linked them to increased belly fat — and bogus but widespread rumors that they led to things much worse. But their draw remained because of the simplest of math equations: Fewer calories means fewer pounds. Both the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association gave their stamp of approval to artificial sweeteners with statements listed on their websites in 2014, and Americans ate it up. But an international group of researchers has tried to figure out whether low-calorie sweeteners really live up to their promise over time. Meghan Azad, a researcher at the University of Manitoba, and others reviewed dozens of studies about the long-term health effects of sugar substitutes, trying to see whether there was a prevailing trend. There was, and you may want to have a drink before you hear about it. Maybe a sugary one. The study found that not only were artificial sweeteners dodgy when it came to weight management, but people who drank them routinely had an increased body mass index and risk of developing cardiovascular disease. “I think originally it was calories were the problem, and we’ve made something tha Continue reading >>
Ask The Doctor: Do Artificial Sweeteners Cause Insulin Resistance?
Ask the doctor Q. I've heard that artificial sweeteners increase the risk of developing insulin resistance. Is that true? Are some types worse than others? A. You've asked a question scientists are still working to answer. Studies of artificial sweeteners are mixed, with some indicating that people using them eat fewer calories and lose weight or maintain a stable weight. However, in a few studies, artificial sweeteners were associated with weight gain, which might increase the risk of developing insulin resistance—a condition in which body cells do not respond properly to insulin and thus cannot easily absorb glucose from the blood-stream. Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School. Continue reading >>