Most of us are familiar with the ongoing debate over the benefits vs. the risks of using artificial sweeteners, especially when it comes to controlling weight gain or managing diabetes. New data, however, tips the scale in favor of forgoing artificial sweeteners, linking them to potentially contributing towards the obesity and diabetes they were intended to help control.

A new study evaluating the effects of artificial sweeteners suggests they may actually lead to the development of diabetes and obesity. The study, published in the scientific journal Nature, concluded that artificial sweeteners such as saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame, among others, interfere with gut bacteria that could cause individuals to develop glucose intolerance, leading to elevated blood sugar levels, a prime symptom in diabetes. Researchers also discovered several associations between long-term consumption of artificial sweeteners and weight gain.

For the study, scientists performed many experiments, mostly on mice, to back up their theory that artificial sweeteners alter the microbiome, the bacteria that are in the digestive system. Additionally, they recruited seven volunteers who did not use artificial sweeteners in their diets and gave them the maximum amount of saccharin recommended by the USFDA for six days. In four of the seven volunteers, blood-sugar levels were unsettled in the same way that blood-sugar levels were unsettled in the mice. At this time, scientists are not sure exactly why artificial sweeteners disrupt the gut bacteria.

The professional care team at Live Free Home Health Care is passionate about helping seniors make wise and informed decisions when it comes to dietary choices, and can assist with meal planning, shopping and preparation. With all care supervised by a registered nurse, we can assist with a number of medical needs as well, including specialized diabetes care. To learn more about our services and how we can help your elderly loved one with in-home health care in New Hampshire, call us at 603-217-0149.