Artificial sweeteners: New side effect discovered that heavily affects your sense of hunger

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Elia Tabuenca García
@eliatabuencagarcia

New research has highlighted how artificial sweeteners could increase appetite especially in women

Don't store avocado like this: it's dangerous

New research has highlighted how artificial sweeteners could increase appetite especially in women





According to a new one study conducted by researchers at USC's Keck School of Medicine, the drinks they contain artificial sweetener sucralose they can increase appetite in women and obese people.

The research is currently one of the largest to date, and it wants to examine the effects of an artificial sweetener, also called non-nutritive sweetener, on brain activity and appetite responses in different segments of the population.

A systematic review

Over 40% of adults, especially in the case of a diet aimed at weight loss, use sweeteners as an alternative to sugar because they are calorie-free. The health consequences of artificial sweeteners are still highly debated; to date, the exact effects on appetite, glucose metabolism and body weight are not known.

To investigate this, a research team analyzed 74 participants who, over the course of three different visits, consumed 300 milliliters of a drink sweetened with sucrose (table sugar), a drink sweetened with sucralose and water. Over the next two hours, the researchers measured three things:

  • activation of brain regions responsible for appetite and food cravings in response to images of high calorie foods, such as a hamburger and donut using a technique imaging, called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
  • glucose levels (blood sugar), insulin and other metabolic hormones in the blood
  • la amount of food consumed at the end of each session. 

The study group included an equal number of healthy, overweight and obese males and females.

The results

Research has shown one increased activity in the regions of the brain responsible for appetite, both in women and in obese people, after consuming drinks containing sucralose compared to drinks containing classic sugar.



The study also showed a general decrease in the levels of hormones responsible for satiety after the participants drank the drink containing sucralose, compared to the drink containing sucralose, suggesting that the Artificially sweetened drinks may not be effective in suppressing hunger.

Finally, after drinking the sucralose-containing drink, participants ate more at the snack buffet than those who consumed the sucrose-containing drink, while snacking did not differ for male participants. 

This study could lead to show that the women and obese people may be more sensitive to artificial sweeteners, which in turn can result in the consumption of more calories.

Photos: JAMA

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