Can Low-Calorie Sweetener Increase Type 2 Diabetes?

HIGHLIGHTS

  • A new study says that low-calorie drinks create an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • These sweeteners can also make beverage consumers prone to obesity.

According to an American study, low-calorie drinks create an increased risk of type 2 diabetes if a carbohydrate is added to the beverage. Researchers from Yale University have tested the theory that consuming low-calorie sweeteners can disrupt the human metabolism. Therefore, these sweeteners can create an increased risk of developing obesity related conditions.

The purpose of this research was to end the long-standing debate over the use of low-calorie sweeteners, like sucralose, in foods and beverages. In past there have been many studies that presented conflicting results about low-calorie sweeteners. The latest research also said that low-calorie sweeteners could actually aid in weight loss.

In a nutshell, if combined with other carbohydrates and sugars, low-calorie sweeteners can reduce insulin sensitivity, and thus, increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. The researchers also discovered that consumption of drinks containing low-calorie sweeteners alone did not change brain or metabolic responses to sugars.

Expert Opinion

Professor Dana Small, the director of the university’s Modern Diet and Physiology Research Center and a senior author on the study said:

“The bottom line is that, at least in small quantities, individuals can safely drink a diet soda, but they shouldn’t add French fries.” 

However, this study should be considered as a base for further research because its duration was short and sample size was small.

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