Sugar Substitutes Increase Body Fat
If you're trying to lose weight, think twice before reaching for that diet soda. While many consider low-calorie and zero-calorie sweeteners a healthier alternative to sugar, a recent study suggests they may contribute to fat formation and weight gain—especially in people who are overweight or obese.
For the study, researchers analyzed the effects of sucralose—an artificial sweetener used in a variety of products including Splenda, diet sodas, baking mixes, and cereals—on fat cells. Their goal was to determine how sugar substitutes affect the body's metabolism on a cellular level.
The researchers applied sucralose to stem cells derived from human fat tissue and found an increase in fat production and inflammation markers. Additional research showed that adults who regularly consume low-calorie sweeteners have an overexpression of sweet taste receptors—as well as genes associated with fat production—and an increase in blood glucose.
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