Hold the diet soda! A new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) has revealed that artificial sweeteners are tied to long-term weight gain plus an increased risk of diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
This is scary considering the consumption of artificial sweeteners like stevia, xylitol, sucralose and aspartame is widespread and increasing at a rapid rate...
Emerging research suggests that non-nutritive sweeteners like these may have negative effects on appetite, metabolism and gut bacteria, but this is one of the first studies to find a reliable relationship between artificial sweeteners and health problems like diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure and heart disease. Keep reading for the full scoop!
Study links artificial sweeteners to heightened risk of diabetes mellitus and other health problems
To reach these findings, researchers from the University of Manitoba's George & Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation in Canada conducted a systematic review of 37 studies that followed over 400,000 people for an average period of 10 years.
Of these studies, only seven were randomised controlled trials, involving 1,003 people whom researchers followed for six months on average.
The trials showed no consistent effect of artificial sweeteners on weight loss
and the longer observational studies showed a correlation between consumption of these sweeteners and significantly higher risks of weight gain and obesity
mellitus, high blood pressure
, heart disease
and other health issues.
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Study authors say caution is warranted until they can fully characterise the health effects of artificial sweeteners
Dr Meghan Azad, assistant professor of Rady Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba, said her and her team warrant caution until the long-term health effects of non-nutritive sweeteners are fully identified.
At the moment, the team is undertaking a new study to understand how artificial sweetener consumption by pregnant women may influence weight gain, metabolism and gut bacteria in their infants.
Dr Azad concluded that given the widespread using of artificial sweeteners are the current epidemic of obesity
, diabetes mellitus and related diseases, further research is needed to determine the long-term risks and benefits of these products.
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