Artificial sweeteners may trigger weight gain, diabetes, says study

These sweeteners might lack calories, but not consequences, of which, diabetes is only one.

Dana Small, Professor at Yale University, “A calorie is not a calorie”.

However, when a “mismatch” occurs, the calories fail to trigger the body’s metabolism, and the reward circuits in the brain fail to recognize that calories have been consumed.

Researchers said a sweettasting, lower-calorie drink can trigger a greater metabolic response than drinks with higher calories, explaining an association between artificial sweeteners and diabetes.

But diet products that do not taste sweet confuse the brain into thinking there are fewer calories to burn than there are. “Either may affect metabolic health”.

In the new study, brains of 15 participants, when they drank diet drinks were scanned and were then compared with regular beverages.

They also monitored how much energy was burned and found that when there was a “mismatch”, the brain did not register calories had been consumed, which could lead to eating more.

Researchers at Yale University say in nature sweetness signals the presence of energy, so that the sweeter something tastes, the more calories it contains.

As said by Mr. Dwyer, the most vital complication lies in the fate of the calories that are taken in the mismatch condition.

“These are not efficiently metabolised at the time of ingestion and thus processed later and/or stored either of which could drive weight gain and interfere with metabolism“.

British experts, who are more skeptical about the findings, are of the opinion that those who are concerned about taking diet drinks should stick to drinking water.

Diet drinks and meals could cause people to put on weight and trigger diabetes even when they are low-calorie.

“The statement that a calorie is not a calorie is gobbledegook”, said Tom Sanders, Professor emeritus of Nutrition and Dietetics, at King’s College London.

Artificial Sweeteners have been a controversial topic for nearly as long as they have been around.