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Friday, 03 October 2014 13:04

Do Artificial Sweeteners Contribute to Obesity?

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Artificial sweeteners have long been used as a sugar substitute by dieters. But do they really help us lose weight? A new study published in the journal Nature shows that artificial sweeteners may actually contribute to the problems of obesity and diabetes.

Scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel tested the effects of artificial sweeteners (Sweet 'N Low, Equal, Splenda) on mice and humans. Researchers found that consuming even moderate amounts of artificial sweeteners dramatically increased the risk of glucose intolerance, a condition linked to diabetes. The cause appears to be related to the affect of those sweeteners on "gut bacteria" which help regulate digestion and metabolism. When given antibiotics to reverse the damage to gut bacteria, symptoms of glucose intolerance in test subjects disappeared.

Since glucose intolerance affects the way the body processes glucose, causing spikes in blood sugar, scientists warned that artificial sweeteners may actually increase the risk of obesity and diabetes. According to study co-author Dr. Eran Elinav, "We found that the artificial sweeteners we think of as beneficial and that we use as treatment or preventive measures against obesity and its complications are contributing to the same epidemics they are aimed to prevent."

"Artificial sweeteners we think of as beneficial ... are contributing to the same epidemics they are aimed to prevent."

California Medical Weight Management provides medical weight loss services across the U.S. CMWM Head Nutritionist Elaine Murphy writes, "People do not realize when a sweet taste is perceived initially by the tongue and then not followed with actual food as the brains expects it to, this disrupts many of the complex systems our body have to help regulate energy balance. This throws things off, including insulin and glucagon, the key hormones of blood sugar balance."

To learn more about obesity and weight loss solutions, visit California Medical Weight Management at Schedule a free, no-obligation weight loss consultation at a clinic near you.

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