Are Artificial Sweeteners to Blame?

Are artificial sweeteners to blame for the obesity epidemic? From ScienceDaily:

Artificial sweeteners — promoted as aids to weight loss and diabetes prevention — could actually hasten the development of glucose intolerance and metabolic disease, and they do so in a surprising way: by changing the composition and function of the gut microbiota — the substantial population of bacteria residing in our intestines. (source)

8 Responses to “Are Artificial Sweeteners to Blame?”

  1. This makes so much sense. I started drinking diet coke on the advice of a high school coach to avoid the sugar and continued on and off for 20 years. Me glucose regulation is definitely impaired and I’ve been trying to get my gut biome back to normal.

    • Alice and Fred

      Hi Mackay,

      It is known that consumption of artificial sweeteners is associated with weight gain and diabetes. This illogical finding has led to much speculation about the cause. One assumption is that the sweet taste of artificial sweeteners fools the digestive system into thinking that they actually are sugar (glucose) and therefore responds to them as they do to glucose. In the present report, Dr. Elinav suggests that the weight gain associated with consumption of artificial sweeteners is due to changes in gut microorganisms that in turn influence lipogenesis.

      We propose that weight increase caused by artificial sweeteners is probably due to a desaturae enzyme that appears to be unrecognized by nutritional science:

      Artificial sweeteners are known to increase secretion of insulin. An increase in insulin stimulates the delta-5 desaturase enzyme (an enzyme found in the essential fatty acid metabolic chain), which in turn increases synthesis of arachidonic acid from linoleic acid. The increased pool of arachidonic acid causes formation of the endocannaboids 2-AG and anandamide.

      These arachidonic acid endocannabanoids signal weight gain independent of the neolipogenesis caused by high insulin levels (source).

    • Hi Mackay!

      Is it safe to assume you’ve been using probiotics to help with your gut biome?

      I’ve been wondering about these myself, as I’ve been on antibiotics since grade school to manage a skin condition, and often wonder what this has done to my own biome, and how it relates to my obesity.

  2. I used to consume a lot of diet soda and other a-s foods, only to see my cravings worsen, and my weight steadily increase. I now rarely have anything sweet, send use a bit of stevia. I concluded it’s best to avoid sweet rather than look for substitutes.

  3. That was an interesting read. I’ve been doing low carb for over a year and noticed that artificial sweeteners tend to cause me to have cravings and stall out my weight loss. I cut out all diet sodas and sweeteners from my diet and noticed not only that I feel better, but my weight loss picked up again.

  4. I did a literature search about Stevia and it doesn’t seem to have any untoward effects. I avoided all non-nutritive sweeteners for a few years, but I started consuming fairly large amounts of Stevia (about 10 grams per day) starting about 3 months ago and have lost 10 pounds.

  5. Does that include all the sweetener even the natural ones, such as stevia, erythritol or xylitol? I wonder if they are other studies about that?

  6. Why does KETOPIA use artificial sweeteners ???
    Why not STEVIA, AGAVE, LO HAN, or HONEY ???


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