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Zero-calorie sweeteners can contribute to diabetes and obesity

Posted by Ghalia Khan on

Swapping sugar for artificial zero-calorie replacements to avoid piling on pounds might come with serious health consequences, a new study suggests. The study, carried out by the Medical College of Wisconsin and Marquette University, shows that switching from regular to diet soda may be a case of 'out of the frying pan, into the fire’.

In the largest study of its kind, the researchers examined biochemical changes in the body caused by sugar and zero-calorie sweetener consumption.

"Despite the addition of these non-caloric artificial sweeteners to our everyday diets, there has still been a drastic rise in obesity and diabetes," said lead researcher Brian Hoffmann, PhD.

The results suggest that artificial sweeteners change how the body processes fat and gets its energy. In addition, the scientists found dangerous levels of acesulfame potassium accumulation in the blood, potentially having a harmful effect on the cells lining blood vessels.

"We observed that replacing these sugars with non-caloric artificial sweeteners leads to negative changes in fat and energy metabolism", concluded Hoffmann. 

While the researchers admit that giving up sugar or sweeteners completely might be tough to adjust to, they recommend moderation and warn that replacing sugar with artificial alternatives can do more harm than good.

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