Can Sweetener Make You Fat?

can sweetener make you fat

Replacing sugar with Candarell or drinking sugar free iced tea might be more fattening than you think.  According to new research presented at ENDO 2017 at the Endocrine Society’s yearly get together.

The study suggests that sweeteners interferes with your body’s metabolism. This in turn might be promoting the storing of fat especially in people who already have a high BMI.

Various studies were used to get to this conclusion. According to the Men’s health the first, researchers tested the artificial sweetener sucralose on stem cells taken from human fat tissue, using a concentration similar to that of the blood of someone drinking four cans of diet drinks per day. They discovered an increased activation of genes associated with fat production and inflammation.

In a second experiment, abdominal fat samples from eight people who regularly consumed low-cal sweeteners were tested.  Evidence showed increased transport of glucose into cells, in other words the accumulation of sugar in the blood— and over expression of fat-producing genes, compared to samples from subjects who didn’t use the sweeteners.

The reason for this was thought to be that low-calorie sweeteners appear to increase “sweet taste receptors” in abdominal fat, and that allows glucose to enter the cells more readily.

In a nutshell the research shows that the receptors are looking for a sweet fix, and a low kilojoule sweetener (which has several-fold sweeter than sugar will satisfy that need), but then, those who regularly consume artificial sweeteners had 2.5-fold higher sweet taste receptor overexpression than those who don’t eat sweeteners.

The vicious circle begins.  More glucose enters the cells as a result of these receptors, the body absorbs it into the bloodstream, raising blood sugar levels in the body. This process often leads to abdominal fat storage, too. Over time, that can mess with your metabolism, leading to greater fat production.

There is still controversy over the bottom line on whether artificial sweeteners are helpful or counter-productive but I am definitely keeping an eye on the subject matter.   Personally, I do feel a spike in appetite as soon as I use artificial sweeteners and prefer using something like Xylitol which is not completely calorie free but at least “safer” health wise and a better bet for weight loss.

For more on sugar vs sweetener I have also written quite an informative article here.


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