Do sweeteners help cause diabetes, obesity?
Artificial sweeteners, long a favorite of dieters, may actually help cause diabetes and obesity, according to a new study published in the journal _Nature. _
To conduct their study, the research team at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel,analyzed the effects of artificial sweeteners on the metabolism of mice for 11 weeks. Some mice were supplied with drinking water supplemented with an artificial sweetener - either saccharin, sucralose or aspartame - and glucose, while others drank just water alone or water containing only sugar. The team found that the mice that drank the water containing glucose and an artificial sweetener developed glucose intolerance, resulting in elevated blood sugar levels, whereas the mice that drank water alone or water containing only sugar did not.
The researchers believe this outcome was the result of gut bacteria in the mice. They found that after consuming the artificial sweeteners, the gut bacteria actually changed in a way that’s associated with Type 2 diabetes. They also found evidence in the fecal matter of the mice fed saccharin showing certain compounds that have previously been linking to diabetes.
After analyzing long-term consumption of the artificial sweeteners, the team found links to increased weight, increased waist-to-hip ratio, higher fasting blood glucose levels, and increased glycosylated hemoglobin levels.