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Artificial Sweeteners Do Not Help You Lose Weight

Artificial Sweeteners Do Not Help You Lose Weight

Researchers sifted through more than 11,000 studies on sweeteners, including both artificial sweeteners, like aspartame and sucralose, and natural options like stevia, to find the highest quality and longest-term research.

Meghan Azad, head author of the study and assistant professor in the department of Pediatrics and Child Health and Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba, said there is a lack of scientific-based evidence on the long-term impact of consuming artificial sweeteners.

To better understand whether consuming artificial sweeteners is associated with negative long-term effects on weight and heart disease, the researchers conducted a systematic review of 37 studies that followed over 4,00,000 people for an average of 10 years. Among these studies, only 7 were randomized controlled trials (the gold standard in clinical research) and those studies involved 1003 people, who were followed for an average of 6 months. While more research needs to be done, from what we know now, "there is no clear benefit for weight loss, and there's a potential association with increased weight gain, diabetes and other negative cardiovascular outcomes", says Azad.

Scientists have compared and reviewed two types of scientific studies and have come to a unanimous conclusion that there is actually no solid evidence that artificial sweeteners help with weight loss or management.

The findings were detailed in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

You may be reaching for artificial sweeteners thinking they're better for you because they have zero calories in drinks, sweets and other processed goods.

The sweeteners, such as saccharin and aspartame, are used in thousands of diet products including drinks, desserts, ready meals, cakes, chewing gum and even toothpaste.

"Researchers have suggested that non-nutritive sweeteners may have adverse effects on glucose metabolism, gut microbiota and appetite control".

There are many theories on why artificial sweeteners may not be good for weight loss or health. This is how they discovered the link between artificial sweeteners and an increase in waist circumference and weight.

Nutrition scientist Allison Sylvetsky at George Washington University, who was not involved in the study, agreed. The sweeteners could alter the way that gut microbes function in the digestion of food, or possibly change the body's metabolism over time by sending repeated false signals that something sweet has been ingested. Sylvetsky Meni doesn't think having a diet soda here and there is bad.

This is quite the opposite of their intended use, since artificial sweeteners have been developed to combat obesity. "They're shifting calories to other foods", Azad explained.

There's no evidence that artificial sweeteners alter the way the body processes sugar, she noted, and some research has shown that sugar substitutes do not make a person crave candies more. That means getting used to plain or fruit-infused water, black coffee and plain yogurt mixed with fruit rather than products containing either added sugars or artificial sweeteners.

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