Published in the journal Nature, it was reported that artificial sweeteners increase the blood sugar levels of both mice and humans, as it interferes with microbes found in the gut.
“Our findings suggest that non-caloric artificial sweeteners may have directly contributed to enhancing the exact epidemic that they themselves were intended to fight,” stated Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute of Science.
The study undertaken involved both human and mice.
For mice, those whose drinking water was supplemented with artificial sweeteners such as saccharin, aspartame and sucralose, developed a glucose intolerance which was not present in those whose water contained actual sugar or none at all. In humans, while the results are less conclusive, distinct differences were found in the gut bacteria of participants between those who do and do not consume these products.
Glucose intolerance is the first step towards metabolic syndrome and diabetes later in life.
“I think we must stress that by no means are sugary drinks healthy and that sugary drinks should be brought back as a healthy part of our nutrition,” told Eran Elinav, who led this study.
The take home message here is not to replace one form of sweet drink with another, but to be aware of the impacts of both have on our health in the long run and moderate our intake accordingly.
For weight loss and better control of your blood sugar, water is always the best option. Try it with a squeeze of lemon or lime.