Back when I was an overweight teen trying to shed pounds, I lived on TaB. (And yes, I date myself with that reference — but it really was the trendiest diet soda around…) Needless to say, I’ve learned a lot about nutrition in the meantime… and I haven’t been a big fan of artificial sweeteners ever since.
Working in nutritional medicine for the past two decades, I’ve grown to see that there are dangers in any artificial sweetener — not just the ones that Monsanto red stamps. (Funny, isn’t it, how the “blue packet” didn’t cause cancer until Monsanto sold it to someone else?)
But that exposé, starring one of the most evil companies on the planet, will have to wait for another day. Because today I want to talk about the first human trial on the regular intake of artificial sweeteners. (Spoiler alert: The results weren’t reassuring.)
Specifically, this trial found that artificial sweeteners change the way your gut responds to sugar — very much for the worse. It increases the amount of glucose that your body absorbs, as well as its glycemic response. And it also blocks production of a peptide called GLP-1.
Among GLP-1’s significant roles: increasing the release of insulin (which lowers blood sugar) and blocking the release of glucagon (which raises blood sugar). This is a complex hormonal dance — but one the body is well equipped to handle if we don’t mess it up by eating too much sugar and simple carbohydrates.
Or, as it turns out, too much artificial sweetener.
This clinical study looked at healthy subjects and their response to common chemical sugar substitutes like sucralose and acesulfame-K — exactly the kind you’ll find in most popular diet drinks. It was two weeks long, randomized, and double-blind. During that time, one group had artificial sweeteners added to their diet, and the other didn’t.
At the outset, both groups had similar gut responses to sugar. But it didn’t take long for that to change… dramatically.
In fact, it only took two weeks. Because at the end of the study, the group consuming artificial sweetener daily saw significant uptakes of glucose, both 90 and 120 minutes after eating. A full 20 percent more than the placebo group, in fact. And their blood sugar levels rose by nearly 25 percent because of it.
And that’s not all. Their GLP-1 response dropped by 34 percent compared with placebo — a startling trend, considering how critical this peptide is to proper blood sugar metabolism.
To sum it up: Artificial sweeteners put your body’s blood sugar control into a tailspin — sending post-meal glucose levels soaring. And they do it in just two weeks.
Do you know what this means? It means that sugar isn’t the only “anti-nutrient” that fuels disease. Those artificial sweeteners put into products to supposedly make them “healthier”? Well, they pave the way to Type 2 diabetes too.
Of course, we’ve already known for quite a while that they’re bad for you. After all, a chemical is a chemical is a chemical… (Obviously we’re not talking about stevia or lo-han — two natural sweeteners I routinely recommend.)
Studies have already clearly shown artificial sweeteners don’t prevent diabetes. But to discover that they actually raise risk in the exact same manner as sugary drinks — even after adjusting for factors like body fat and calorie intake?
That’s bound to make some serious waves.
It’s taken far too long for the tide to start turning against sugar. Policy changes, like beverage taxes to curb sugary drink consumption, have only just started turning up in earnest. So I can only imagine how long it could take before the public comes to their senses on diet soda.
In the meantime, it looks like I’ll have to start using a new hashtag… #ArtificialSweetenersKill.
If you’d like to learn more about safe natural sweeteners and additional drug-free strategies to prevent and reverse Type 2 diabetes, check out my Metabolic Repair Protocol.Clicking here for more information, or to enroll today.