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Are Artificial Sweeteners Just as Bad?

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Old 03-17-2014, 12:51 PM   #1
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Default Are Artificial Sweeteners Just as Bad?

http://www.scienceforfitness.com/201...s-just-as-bad/

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The Takehome: Rats that consumed the artificial sweetener saccharine had greater caloric intake, greater weight (fat) gain, reduced core body temperature increase after consuming sweets, and an impaired ability to compensate (reduce) calorie intake in meals after a meal where increased calories (sugar) were consumed. In other words, although the artificial sweetener saccharine does not have appreciable calories and does not spike insulin like glucose does, the study suggests that because it is still registered as “sweet” by the body, negative biological effects can result. For example, when sweets without calories are consumed on a regular basis, your body may get confused as to what it is consuming. A result is increased feeding (overcompensation) in subsequent meals for calories expected, but not consumed. It also appears that your body may not then properly register actual sweet foods with calories as having those calories, thus leading you to eat the same amount of food (or even more food) in subsequent meals, even though you don’t need all those calories anymore. The lack of a proper core body temperature increase is not entirely understood, but it may indicate that your body is not burning the normal amount of energy (calories) for the digestion process. All of these results present a mechanism by which the rats, and potentially humans, can either gain fat or be unable to lose fat while consuming artificial sweeteners on a regular basis. More work clearly needs to be done in this area (especially with humans), but the findings here are very important. They are a good example of how we need to have a broad understanding of physiology and remember that there are many interacting processes. There are seldom quick fixes to biological problems and if you are using artificial sweeteners as such a fix, you may not be getting the benefit you’ve been expecting.

So do you still think diet soda is better?
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Old 03-17-2014, 01:19 PM   #2
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http://www.scienceforfitness.com/201...s-just-as-bad/




So do you still think diet soda is better?


Why did you neglect to also include the limitations list as well as the takeaway? Personally, I find the limitations more persuasive than the takeaway.

I also do not find the article very persuasive, because of the poor grasp, or poor communication of the science. Bodies do not become confused, that's nonsensical logic.

There needs to be a lot more research done to determine which sweeteners, if any, have similar effects on humans.

Also, humans, unlike rats, are able to limit and control their calorie intake according to their knowledge of the caloric content of the food. Rats are unable to do this.

It's no surprise to me that artificial sweeteners can (in some circumstanced) increase hunger or appetite, but humans are able to compensate for these effects, and the benefit can outweigh the cost in some circumstances.


At this point, we only know that sacharine works this way. Aspartame, stevia, sucralose, monkfruit, xylitol, and other reduced calorie, natural and artificial sweeteners may work differently.

I lost 100 lbs while using low-cal sweeteners. I've gone a year without them, with no weight change. Human weight management is far more complex than can be assumed by one rat study.

Even rat physiology is more complex than one study. We don't even know if the effect of the sacharine isn't confined only to beverages or dairy products.

A lot more research needs to be done, and the interpretations need to be done by folks who understand and can communicate the science without spouting non-science nonsense like bodies becoming confused.
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Old 03-17-2014, 04:51 PM   #3
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There needs to be a lot more research done to determine which sweeteners, if any, have similar effects on humans.
Absolutely! Thanks so much for pointing out that A) No, this isn't a very academic 'explanation' of the study and B) It's inconclusive. A test on rats on one particular sweetener with no controls for activity is not a great study - but it is still something to look at as a stepping stone for what else we still need to explore.

For the record, the author has (as far as I can tell) several academic qualifications in biochemistry(BA), anatomy and physiology(MSc), biomedical sciences(PhD), etc. It is, however, an article on the internet, so should always be taken with a grain of salt.

I read it this morning, and thought it was an interesting 'intro' to the discussion re: artificial sweeteners. For 'body confusion', again you're 100% correct that it doesn't exist - same as you don't 'confuse your muscles' by changing exercises often to 'prevent stalling'. Our body only responds to stimulus, so what we eat, how we move, what we see, etc. But sometimes the signal/stimulus we think we are sending to our body is different than the signal/stimulus it receives. I would suggest that sometimes the dumbed down explanation of 'body confusion' is helpful in explaining some concepts to the layman unfamiliar with basic physiology/biology, eg. effect of artificial light on circadian rhythm (the body is 'confused' about what time it is without the 'natural' signals of dawn/dusk).

Also, congratulations on your own weight loss success! Your personal experience (or experimentation, if you will) highlights pretty much the one conclusion I nearly ALWAYS agree with; you need to try it, and decide for yourself!


There's interesting information on either side of the artificial sweetener debate, for example:

No Negative Effects:
http://spectrum.diabetesjournals.org.../25/2/104.full

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/76/4/721.long

http://www.dietitians.ca/Nutrition-R...weeteners.aspx


Possible Negative Effects:
http://steve.cooleysekula.net/blog/2...ial-sweetener/

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...95666311006611

http://download.cell.com/images/edim...sm/tem_888.pdf


It's complicated:
http://suppversity.blogspot.ca/2013/...conds-pro.html

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/artif...#axzz2wFUSu11o

http://greatist.com/health/are-artif...-going-kill-me

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/261179.php

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3412685/



Thank you kaplods, for reminding me to look at more than one point of view, when posting.

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Old 03-17-2014, 05:15 PM   #4
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Artificial sweeteners are one of the most controversial topics in food safety and weight loss, made more difficult by the fact that you really have to understand the science to wade through the evidence.

For example, early studies found a link between aspartame and cetain benign tumors (non-cancerous pituitary and mammary growths, if memory serves), but only some studies found this link.

These tumors are known to be caused by folic acid difficiency (a diet lacking in fresh fruits and vegetables).

Aspartame or any diet high in the amino acid phenylalanine will worsen folate deficiency, thus increasing the risk of such tumors, but if the rats are being fed a folate-sufficient diets, these tumors do not occur (which is why only some studies found this link).

Doctors and scientists know that folate defficiency increases the risk of these same kinds of tumors in humans as well rats. So as with rats, I think it's safe to suggest that aspartame will aggravate a folic acid deficiency).

I believe anyone who doesn't eat their fruits and vegetables should consider taking a folic acid supplement (whether or not, but especially if, they use aspartame).

I eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and take a folic acid supplement (as it can help with fibromyalgia brain fog), so I'm not worried about that risk.

Understanding the science behind the science is tricky sometimes.
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:17 PM   #5
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To me arguably worse. I have an interesting background with them. I cut them out half a year or more before I started losing weight. So in and of itself that one change was not enough for me. It wasn't until I cut out bread, pasta, fast food, snacks, and then wheat all together, and then grains altogether that weight just started melting off. But would it have melted off if I made all those other changes and I was still drinking diet? Who knows. Could I even had made those changes still drinking diet or would my cravings for sweets had been so bad with diet drinks part of my routine I would not have succeeded? I don't know. I do know with no diet drinks AND the other changes I have finally succeeded.

One thing though. I had a sip of a diet drink about 6 months after quitting at a holiday party. It was vile. VILE. It's amazing but once you get away from them it taste like a toxic industrial waste product. Or at least to me it did.

I think it is instructive to think about the European Union's approach and the U.S. The EU bans many more things than the US. They say you have to prove something is healthy before it goes in. In the US it is prove something is toxic or harmful then we will take it out. That is a much lower standard.

To me anything that stimulates insulin is BAD news. Bad. Why does low carb high fat work for me and many others? Insulin is under control. Add to that they are likely carcinogens and we've tried to eliminate all artificial sweeteners.

Eating fresh whole foods was a big gigantic step for my weight loss and vastly improved health. Me personally, I would do everything possible to ween myself off of them. We might not know the full extent of all the harm they do: keeping people hungry, producing insulin, making cancer more likely, who knows what else? But I think we can all agree they are bad for you. I personally do not want to find out how bad.
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:04 PM   #6
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I think it is instructive to think about the European Union's approach and the U.S. The EU bans many more things than the US. They say you have to prove something is healthy before it goes in. In the US it is prove something is toxic or harmful then we will take it out. That is a much lower standard.
This is inaccurate. While it is true that herbal and other natural food additives and ingredients must be proven unsafe before they're banned (such as ephedra), all man-made food additives like artificial sweeteners must be proven safe through years of animal and then human testing before they're allowed in.

There are only a couple countries that have stricter foodcsafety laws than the US.


For cosmetic and natural food ingredients, the EU is much stricter than the FDA, but for man-made food ingredients they're pretty much comparable.
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:00 PM   #7
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Then explain that rubber mat additive in Subway bread? They are now saying they will take it out voluntary. But it is very much allowed. They were getting negative press though.

I read many articles about it and it isn't in us in the EU. Every article mentioned what I did. In the EU it wasn't allowed because it has not been demonstrated safe. In the US it was allowed because it hasn't been definitely proven toxic according to FDA. I sincerely doubt we are amongst the best in the world. Industry runs the USDA and FDA. Don't get me wrong I am a huge fan of government. Just not a fan of our current system whereby the wealthy can bribe (campaign conteibutions) and control government.

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Old 03-18-2014, 08:18 PM   #8
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Then explain that rubber mat additive in Subway bread? They are now saying they will take it out voluntary. But it is very much allowed. They were getting negative press though.

I read many articles about it and it isn't in us in the EU. Every article mentioned what I did. In the EU it wasn't allowed because it has not been demonstrated safe. In the US it was allowed because it hasn't been definitely proven toxic according to FDA.
The chemical you are referring to is azodicarbonamide a.k.a. ADA.

From http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsP...7497.htm#basis

On what basis did FDA approve the use of ADA?
FDA approved the use of ADA as a food additive in cereal flour and as a dough conditioner based on a comprehensive review of safety studies, including multi-year feeding studies.

What has FDA done to continue to ensure the safe use of ADA in foods?
FDA has continued to evaluate the safe use of ADA in foods. Currently it is collecting data on the amounts of semicarbazide (SEM) – a breakdown chemical that forms when ADA comes in contact with water - found in baked goods sold in the U.S. Additionally, FDA is reviewing all available data on the safety of SEM and plans to reassess potential consumer exposure to it from bread products based on data from our current survey. This safety analysis will help FDA determine if any regulatory action needs to be taken.

What about studies that show breakdown products of ADA, specifically semicarbazide, to be a carcinogen?
During bread making, ADA completely breaks down to form other chemicals, one of which is SEM. At high levels, SEM has been shown to increase the incident of tumors when fed to female mice, but not to male mice or either gender of rat. These studies were conducted in rodents at levels of SEM that far exceed estimates of human exposure from the consumption of ADA-treated flour or bread products.

Does FDA recommend consumers change their diets?
Based on the science, FDA is not recommending that consumers change their diets because of exposure to ADA/SEM. FDA considers ADA a safe food additive when used for the purposes and at the levels specified in the FDA regulations.

How do I know whether bread products contain ADA?
ADA, like all ingredients intentionally added to food, must be listed on the ingredient label. Consumers are able to identify the addition of ADA by looking for “azodicarbonamide” on the label.



Regarding artificial sweeteners, I have certainly lost weight successfully while using them. I have tried CCing without them, but it seemed a lot harder to me without them. I am currently using liquid stevia in my coffee and slowly reducing the amount I use, but I doubt I will get down to none. I haven't had a diet soda in weeks, but I have not sworn them off (or other artificially sweetened things like jello).
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:11 PM   #9
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Thanks. That seems to support what I am saying. They let things in then determine if it is safe. That happens over and over in my experience in the US. I've heard the EU is different. Not sure. But US in my lifetime is more let it go and then opps our bad.
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:59 PM   #10
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Thanks. That seems to support what I am saying. They let things in then determine if it is safe. That happens over and over in my experience in the US. I've heard the EU is different. Not sure. But US in my lifetime is more let it go and then opps our bad.
How does this support what you are saying? It rather seems to directly contradict your conclusions, especially this paragraph:

Quote:

On what basis did FDA approve the use of ADA?
FDA approved the use of ADA as a food additive in cereal flour and as a dough conditioner based on a comprehensive review of safety studies, including multi-year feeding studies.

In other words, the substance was investigated for safety prior to approval, and was determined safe based on "a comprehensive review of safety studies, including multi-year feeding studies."

This is the same kind of data the EU uses (what do you think they base their findings on, except a comprehensive review of safety studies, including multi-year feeding studies.")?

A comprehensive review of safety studies, does not mean one or two experiments, but dozens using thousands of animals and eventually human participants.

The link between SEM and tumors was found only in female mice, and only at concentrations far greater than would ever be consumed by humans.

The FDA continues to monitor and fund research, even though it has established it is safe in the doses normally consumed by humans.

There are thousands of substances, natural and synthetic that are benign or even healthy at one dose, and toxic at another.

Sunlight is one of them.

You have not established, or provided any evidence whatsoever that that the EU's food safety standards are any higher than the FDA.

You can point at individual substances that the EU has not approved that the FDA has, but this proves nothing unless you can prove that there are no substances that the EU has approved that the FDA has not.

Just because there's one substance that the EU hasn't approved, but the FDA has, doesn't mean that there aren't just as many substances for which the reverse is true.

Every governmental food safety organization has slightly different standards and procedures for approving and banning food additives, and different doesn't necesarily mean better or worse.

You're saying that the EU's standards are higher than the FDA, but you've proven no evidence that supports this conclusion.

Most of these organizations, use the findings and/or the research used by the other organizations, at least in part, to draw their own conclusions. But because each is working on their own timetables, with their own procedures, substances get approved and/or banned, and/or re-evaluated on different time tables.

You're aledging that EU has not approved ADA/SEM, but even if true this doesn't prove that their standards are higher than the FDA, only that the EU has not yet made a determination. You can bet that there are substances the FDA has banned or not yet approved that the EU has not, just because that's how things go.

None of these organizations are "on the same page" because they're all working independently, though they do use the findings and the research done by the other health organizations to make their own determinations.

Often they're within a couple years of each other for most substances, and the wealthier nations tend to be first, just because research is expensive, and wealthy countries can afford larger and more numerous studies.
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Old 03-19-2014, 04:48 PM   #11
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The FDA is underfunded and overwhelmed by ever increasing additives & cumbersome bureaucratic restraints. Synthetic chemical additives in foods and non-food retail products number in the tens of thousands, last time I read, ca. 2009. The FDA has resources to evaluate only the tiniest fraction. When they decide one chemical is unsafe, corporations can tweak it slightly to get around the ban. Moreover, the FDA is not legally accountable to anyone in particular. It is all too often headed, revolving-door style, by a CEO of a company who makes the type of products that needs to be evaluated.

I was a heavy user of artificially colored & sweetened sauces, dressing, shakes, bars, water enhancers. I can't imagine my 2013 daily sucralose intake. It was a matter of picking my poison. I felt horrible 100 lbs heavier, with constant nagging hunger, fatigue, moodiness, mental fog, aching joints, and incipient diabetes. The artificials helped me lose weight, but eventually I think i became hooked on sweetness and hyper-flavoring. After gradually letting go of artificially-sweetened items, I feel more peaceful about my food. It's as if food that tastes 'really, really good' kicks up cravings, whereas food that tastes just 'pretty good' is more satisfying.

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