Diet Soda May Actually Help Cause Type 2 Diabetes
If you’re choosing diet soda or other diet products in an effort to watch your weight or to prevent blood sugar fluctuations, you may want to rethink that decision. That’s because new research shows that aspartame — a key ingredient in diet soda and many other diet foods and beverages — has been linked to impaired blood sugar. While that may not sound like a big deal, it is a serious situation that has the potential to contribute to diseases like diabetes, obesity and more.
The new study published in the medical journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism found that the artificial sweetener aspartame hinders a person’s ability to regulate blood sugar, which is ironic considering that most people who use artificial sweeteners do so to prevent the blood sugar spikes linked to real sugar. People suffering from diabetes or obesity often turn to these beverages or foods made with aspartame believing they are a healthy alternative to sugar and the impacts of sugar. While there have been other studies on the dangers of aspartame and other artificial sweeteners, this one is ground-breaking in that it shows that the synthetic options actually impair a person’s ability to manage blood sugar — a key factor in diabetes and other diseases. This new research shows that synthetic sweeteners could actually contribute to the disease.
The study had two phases: The first one examined a possible correlation between blood sugar impairment and artificial sweetener consumption in 33,994 people over several years. The second component assessed 2856 individuals aged 40 to 74 with no diagnosis of diabetes who fasted and then were given either sugars or artificial sweeteners, the latter of which included aspartame and saccharin. Their blood sugar levels were monitored. Of course, we’d expect those who took the sugar to have blood sugar issues afterward but those individuals who had the artificial sweeteners had even worse blood sugar problems. There was a significant correlation between artificial sweetener use, excessive weight and glucose intolerance.
Aspartame goes by the brand names of AminoSweet or NutraSweet. Learn about the many health problems linked to aspartame in in my blog “14 Reasons to Ditch Diet Soda.” Saccharin, a coal tar derivative, goes by the names Sweet’N Low, Sweet Twin, and Necta Sweet and has been considered a probable carcinogen for decades.
Type 2 diabetes is a disorder linked to glucose intolerance and the body’s resistance to the chemical compound it makes to regulate blood sugar, known as insulin. This results in high sugar levels, which in turn leads to weight gain.
Earlier research shows that aspartame and other artificial sweeteners may impair the body’s ability to tolerate sugar by throwing off the body’s balance of beneficial bacteria. Say that one ten times fast! In that study, published in the journal Nature, researchers found that artificial sweeteners throw off the gut bacteria, which induces a state of glucose intolerance — a causal factor in diabetes.
Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is an international best-selling and 19-time published book author whose works include: 60 Seconds to Slim: Balance Your Body Chemistry to Burn Fat Fast! (Rodale).