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Study finds sweeteners do not increase hunger and have no effect on lowering blood sugar levels

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An important new study has found that replacing sugar in foods with artificial or natural sweeteners doesn’t make you hungry and can even help lower blood sugar levels.

A double-blind, randomized controlled trial found that consuming foods containing sweeteners, similar to sugary foods, reduces appetite and appetite-related hormonal responses, providing benefits such as lowering blood sugar levels. did. This may be especially important for people at risk of developing the disease. Type 2 diabetes.

Using sweeteners to replace sugar in foods can be controversial, as there are conflicting reports about their potential to increase appetite. Research has been conducted in the past, but no solid evidence has been obtained.

However, the researchers say that this study meets the gold standard level of evidence in scientific research and is extremely strong in showing that sweeteners and sweetness enhancers do not have a negative effect on appetite and are beneficial in reducing sugar intake. states that it provides strong evidence.

The trial was led by the University of Leeds in collaboration with the Rhône-Alpes Human Nutrition Research Centre. This is the latest research published by the SWEET consortium of 29 European researchers, consumers and industry partners, which explores the long-term benefits of switching to sweeteners and sweeteners from a public health perspective. We are committed to developing and reviewing evidence regarding potential risks. Health and safety, obesity and sustainability. Funded by Horizon Europe.

Reducing sugar consumption has become an important public health goal to reduce the rise in obesity-related metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.

Simply limiting carbohydrates in foods without using substitutes can negatively impact taste and increase sweet cravings, making it difficult to stick to a low-carbohydrate diet. There is a possibility. Replacing sugar in foods with sweeteners and sweetness enhancers is one of the most widely used dietary and food manufacturing strategies to reduce sugar intake and improve the nutritional profile of commercially available foods and beverages. It’s one. ”

katherine gibbons Lead author, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Leeds

Lead researcher Graham Finlayson, Professor of Psychobiology from the School of Psychology at the University of Leeds, said: ‘The use of sweeteners and sweetness enhancers has led to a number of studies, including high-profile publications linking their intake to impaired glycemic response and toxicological damage. “It’s attracting negative attention.” These reports contribute to the current confusion regarding the safety of sweeteners and sweeteners among the general public, particularly among those at risk of metabolic disease.

“Our study provides important evidence supporting the routine use of sweeteners and sweetness enhancers for weight and blood sugar control.”

The first study of its kind involved 53 overweight or obese adults, both men and women, who consumed biscuits containing either sugar or one of two food sweeteners: the natural sugar substitute stevia, or the artificial sweetener neotame. We investigated the impact if

To date, virtually all research into the effects of sweeteners and sweetness enhancers on appetite and blood sugar has been conducted in beverages. Few studies have included overweight or obese volunteers, and few have included volunteers of both sexes.

Most studies have only compared a single sweetener, primarily aspartame, to a control, and few have investigated the effects of repeated daily intake of known sweeteners or sweetness enhancers in the normal diet. .

The new trial was conducted in France from 2021 to 2022 at the University of Leeds and the Rhône-Alpes Research Center for Human Nutrition (CRNH-RA). All participants were overweight or obese between the ages of 18 and 60.

The study consisted of three two-week intake periods in which participants consumed biscuits with sugary fruit fillings. the natural sugar substitute stevia, or the artificial sweetener neotame, each with a break of 14 to 21 days. Days 1 and 14 of the intake period took place in the laboratory.

Participants were instructed to arrive at the lab after an overnight fast, and blood samples were taken to establish baseline levels of blood sugar, insulin, and appetite-related hormones. They were also asked to rate their appetite and food preferences.

After eating the biscuit, they were asked to rate how full they felt over several hours. Glucose and insulin levels were measured, as were the hormones ghrelin, glucagon-like peptide 1, and pancreatic polypeptide, which are associated with food consumption.

Results showed that the two sweeteners showed no difference in appetite or endocrine responses compared to sugar, but they did reduce insulin levels measured over two hours after a meal, as did blood sugar levels.

Professor Anne Leben from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, co-coordinator of the SWEET project, said: “The results of this study demonstrate that sweeteners reduce added sugar intake without compensatory increases in appetite or energy intake.” “We demonstrate that sweeteners are useful tools in the management of appetite, energy, and weight management.”


Reference magazines:

Gibbons, C. other. (2024) Two-week acute effects of neotame, stevia rebaudioside M, and sucrose-sweetened biscuits on postprandial appetite and endocrine responses in overweight/obese adults – a randomized crossover trial by the SWEET consortium. e-biomedicine. doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2024.105005.

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