Artificial sweeteners are bad for cardiometabolic health

07/19/2023- Sweet lovers who are unwilling or unable to consume sugar often resort to artificial sweeteners sweeten food or drinks, but a couple of months ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that this is useless if your goal is not to gain weight, because sugar-free sweeteners like saccharin or stevia do not help control weight, as previously thought.

Now, a review of the main scientific evidence on artificial sweeteners has shown that not only do these products offer no health benefits in this context, but “negative effect on the cardiometabolic system”. The review was coordinated Dr. Francisco Gomez Delgado And Dr. Pablo Perez Martinezmembers of the Spanish Society for Arteriosclerosis (SEA) and the Spanish Society of Internal Medicine (SEMI), who published their findings in Current opinion in cardiology under the heading ‘Artificial sweeteners and the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The study includes the latest data on the subject and analyzes how the consumption of artificial sweeteners affects the development of obesity and the emergence of cardiometabolic risk factors such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, and even suffering from cardiovascular events.

The negative impact of artificial sweeteners on metabolism

Artificial sweeteners have been considered a good alternative to reducing calorie intake in overweight or obese people, but the study concluded that their consumption promotes “weight gain through various satiety-related neuroendocrine mechanisms that are abnormally activated after consumption.”

“Consumption of artificial sweeteners negatively affects our metabolism, especially glucose metabolism, increasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.”

For this reason, the researchers exclude “the benefit that these sweeteners may have for weight management” and emphasize that “they may not be an alternative to other healthier dietary interventions such as plant-based foods, reduced consumption of processed foods, and regular exercise.”

According to the document, the intake of these substances causes serious disruptions in the endocrine system that disrupt metabolism and interfere with its normal functioning. In particular, it is noted that the consumption of artificial sweeteners increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 18-24% and up to 44% – the risk of developing metabolic syndrome. It also causes changes in the regulation of satiety mechanisms, changes in the gut microbiota, and increased insulin secretion. This set of factors represents an ideal scenario for the development of diabetes.

“There is sufficient evidence to allow us to establish that the consumption of artificial sweeteners negatively affects our metabolism, especially glucose metabolism, increasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes,” said Dr. Francisco Gomez Delgado, lead author of this work.

“We need stronger evidence to take a clear stand on the consumption of this type of sweetener and its detrimental health effects. At the same time, it would be ideal limit consumption or even avoid adding artificial sweeteners to coffee or infusions.”concludes Dr. Perez Martinez. These experts stress the importance of regulating its presence in our diets and the need to adapt current legislation to minimize its impact on our health.

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