Artificial sweeteners have always come with a not-so-encouraging label. You might not get fat from them, but they pose various health risks like multiple sclerosis and even cancer. However, experts have debunked these theories numerous times. Still, a new study, which the journal Experimental Biology recently published, claims that artificial sweeteners might actually indeed pose some healthy risks, like type 2 diabetes. In order to reach this conclusion, the team of researchers used rats vulnerable to diabetes for their experiments.
For three weeks, the team fed separate groups of rats with high doses of glucose and fructose. Also, with two types of common artificial sweeteners, aspartame and acesulfame potassium. After the three weeks passed, they analyzed the blood of the rats involved in the experiment. According to Brian Hoffman, the lead author of the study, some biochemical changes happened in the blood of these rats. Those changes could potentially lead to problems like changes in the energy and fat metabolism.
Artificial sweeteners might still cause diabetes
Diabetes is a condition that happens when our bodies cannot maintain the proper levels of glucose in the blood. The hormone known as insulin regulates this process. Because of this condition, people wither stop responding to insulin or stop producing insulin altogether. Too much sugar in our diets is what usually causes diabetes.
This is why, for decades, artificial sweeteners have been thought to help people eat and drink sweet while avoiding diabetes or weight gain. According to Hoffman, these artificial sweeteners could too lead to diabetes, but in a different way than normal sugar does: by tricking the body. So, instead of overwhelming the body’s processes, sweeteners wear it out. By consuming fake sugar, the body doesn’t get the energy it needs. So, it searches for it in other places, making the body sick, eventually. Hoffman says that even if these artificial sweeteners are-FDA approved, this was done long before we had the technology to discover the dangers they pose.
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