Studies Show Diet Soda Linked to:
A Study Finding a Link Isn’t the Same as Cause and Effect
It’s not the same as cause and effect — researchers aren’t claiming that diet soda CAUSES diabetes, dementia, stroke and weight gain — however we’re being warned that by drinking diet soda we’re increasing our chances for developing these problems.
So if you’re drinking diet soda and HAVE these problems, then as soon as you stop or at least cut down — you give your body a chance to repair the damage. It’s like when it stops raining after the backyard floods, the terrain has time to return to normal.
Hooked on Diet Soda, Artificially Sweetened Drinks?
Fear not! Maggie has some great advice on what to drink to please a finicky palate. She had to give up Orange Crush after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and by switching to these healthy drinks, the thought of consuming all those chemicals soon repulsed her. Try them!
Do your car battery terminals need cleaning?
Here’s an idea!
Take that can of Coke and rather than down it,
use it to dissolve the crud and corrosion
under your OTHER hood!
Below find a sampling on the studies (there’s 100s).
Note that in some instances researchers found that ONLY small percentages of people radically increased their risk of developing the studied disease so don’t FREAK if you’re a regular diet soda consumer. Just take the information and make the best decisions you can. Heck, I still “treat” myself to a diet Dr. Pepper from time-to-time. I just don’t keep it up so that my body has time to process and clean out the nasty stuff that comes with toxic treats.
Drink One Diet Soda a Day & Increase Your Type 2 Diabetes Risk 67%
Calm down, the study is observational and does NOT establish causality.
The participants in the study (6,814 adults aged 45-84 years) completed a food frequency questionnaire and had their fasting glucose measured at baseline. Glucose was measured again at three follow-up examinations spaced two years apart making the duration of the study a total of eight years (2000 – 2007). The data was collected in six field centers located in Baltimore, Chicago, Forsyth, NC; New York City, Los Angeles and St. Paul Minnesota.
When the researchers ran the numbers, people who drank at least one diet soda a day elevated their risk of type 2 diabetes compared to nonconsumers by 67 percent. That’s kinda scary. Interestingly, it didn’t matter what else they ate (healthy food or garbage food) — they still developed diabetes if they drank a diet soda a day.
Reference: Nettleton, J. A., Lutsey, P. L., Wang, Y., Lima, J. A., Michos, E. D., Jacobs, D. R. (2009, April). Diet soda intake and risk of incident metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Diabetes Care, 32(4), 688-694. Retrieved from http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/32/4/688.
Laughter makes carpal tunnel surgery recovery go faster too!
Artificial sweeteners can be hundreds of times more sweet than sugar and this confuses your body because it associates “sweet” with calories. But there’s ZERO calories in a diet Coke! Disassociating sweet from calories causes havoc throughout the metabolic system from the brain to the digestive tract.
How Fake Sugar Can Make People Diabetic
The hallmark symptom of diabetes is high blood sugar caused by glucose intolerance. Fake sugar induces glucose intolerance.
Researchers found out in a handful of experiments they ran on mice and people. In the mice experiments, either saccharine, aspartame or scuralose was added to the drinking water of a group of mice they put on a calorie restricting diet. You’d think the mice would lose weight. However after 11 weeks, compared to a control group that ate all they wanted washed down with plain water: the experimental group weighed the same and had higher blood sugar! The results were the same with all three products tested: saccharine, aspartame and sucralose.
Suspicious that gut bacteria were to blame for the blood sugar spike, the researchers gave the experimental mice antibiotics and their sugar did indeed return to normal. To confirm that intestinal bacteria were to blame, they transplanted feces from the sweetener-consuming mice into the sweetener-free group that promptly developed elevated blood glucose.
The human experiment was conducted in two steps. First participants were given a high dose of saccharine, 60% of which showed an increased in blood sugar. Bacteria from these subjects was transplanted into sweetener-free mice which again — promptly developed high blood sugar.
Next, the researchers took bacterial samples from 400 people and found that the gut bacteria of people consuming artificial sweeteners is different from that of those who eat regular sugar. And not surprisingly at this point – the people consuming artificial sweeteners had higher blood sugar than those who never touch the stuff.
The bottom line? Artificial sweeteners change the guest list to the gut bacteria party and the newcomers do something to induce glucose intolerance.
The NPR grabbed this quote from the director of the Human Microbiome Program at New York University in an interview on the study:
I can just tell you … as a middle-aged man who’s concerned about his diet and his waistline — and [as] somebody who drinks diet soda — I didn’t drink any yesterday.
Reference: Suez, Jotham, Tal Korem, and David Zeevi. “Artificial Sweeteners Induce Glucose Intolerance by Altering the Gut Microbiota.” Nature 514 (2014): 181-86. Web.
Yikes! A Daily Can of Diet Soda Raises Risk of Stroke & Dementia by 3 Times
Okay, quick the disclaimer taken from an interview of the study’s lead author, Dr. Matthew Pase by Here & Now:
It’s important to note that our results are observational, which means we observe trends amongst a large group of people, but our results certainly do not suggest causality. In other words, we can’t be sure that diet sodas are causing stroke or causing dementia. But we are seeing associations between those who more frequently consume diet soda, and a higher risk of both stroke and dementia within the next 10 years.
Those who were drinking diet soda on a daily basis, their risk for stroke and dementia was about three times as high. As compared to someone who was not drinking diet soda.
Dr. Pase’s team studied 2888 participants older than age 45 for the incidence of stroke and 1484 participants older than 60 for the incidence of dementia. After measuring subjects’ soda intake at three points over seven years, they then monitored them for an additional 10 years. Surprisingly, they found NO correlation between sugary beverage consumption and stroke or dementia.
That’s really damning when it comes to artificial sweeteners, although the study doesn’t differentiate between the TYPES of fake sugar.
Bottom line: Fake sugar NOT real sugar raises risk of stroke and dementia by a factor of three.
Reference: Pase, Matthew P., Jayandra J. Himali, and Alexa S. Beiser. “Sugar- and Artificially Sweetened Beverages and the Risks of Incident Stroke and Dementia.” Stroke 48.4 (2017)
AND Diet Soda Linked to Weight GAIN
Boy oh boy, it sure seems like our bodies are telling us to “stop with the diet soda a’ready!”
We’ll skip right to the nitty-gritty:
Overweight people who drink diet soda eat significantly more calories(1). That one we probably could have guessed — who hasn’t ordered a diet soda to go with the large size French fries? The researchers think fake sugar activates the reward centers of the brain to stimulate appetite because sugar isn’t registered in the blood stream.
People who drink diet soda eat more garbage food. Researchers found that on days people drank diet soda that they also ate more cookies and French fires.
People who drink two cans of diet soda a day have a 54% chance of becoming overweight or obese compared to 32% of people who drink the same amount of regular soda (2).
A study of residents living in San Antonio, Texas were followed for nearly 10 years during which researchers measured their waist lines and recorded their beverage intake at baseline and every couple of years thereafter. They found that people who drank diet soda gained triple the amount of abdominal fat as those who didn’t. Abdominal is VERY unhealthy making this news very important(3). Read about abdominal fat here.
Sucralose Proven to Promote Fat Formation
Researchers weren’t picking on sucralose, but they had to pick one of the sugar substitutes to test. A team led by Dr. Sabyasachi Sen of George Washington University in D.C. selected surcralose because it’s the sweetest of the three most widely used fake sugars that also include aspartame and saccharin, There’s a relatively new fake sugar named advantame that received the FDA’s blessing as safe in 2014.
Sugar Substitute Sweetness Chart:
|Name||Times sweeter than sugar|
|Aspartame||160 – 200x|
|Sacccharin||300 – 500x|
|Sucralose||500 – 650x|
The team sought to find out how artificial sweeteners affect the body’s metabolism at a cellular level and soaked stem cells in sucralose for 12 days. They found the stem cells bumped up the expression of genes associated with fat and inflammation.
Next they took biopsies of abdominal fat both from obese and healthy weight volunteers, all of whom consumed artificial sweeteners. These samples were compared to biopsies taken from adults who don’t consume fake sugar.
The team found that the artificial sweetener users showed an increase in the transport of glucose into cells and demonstrated an overexpression of genes that promote fat production.
Importantly, the fake sugar consumers had an overexpression of sweet taste receptors that was 2.5 times higher compared to the non-consumers.
. . . we believe that low-calorie sweeteners promote additional fat formation by allowing more glucose to enter the cells, and promotes inflammation, which may be more detrimental in obese individuals(5).
Dr. Sabyasachi Sen
(1) Bleich, Sara N. et al. “Diet-Beverage Consumption and Caloric Intake Among US Adults, Overall and by Body Weight.” American Journal of Public Health 104.3 (2014): e72–e78. PMC. Web. 24 Apr. 2017.
(2) Malik VS, Schulze MB, Hu FB. Intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain: a systematic review. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 2006;84(2):274-288.
(3) Fowler, Sharon PG, Ken Williams, and Helen P Hazuda. “Diet Soda Intake Is Associated with Long-Term Increases in Waist Circumference in a Bi-Ethnic Cohort of Older Adults: The San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging.” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 63.4 (2015): 708–715. PMC. Web. 24 Apr. 2017
Why Fake Sugar Increases Appetite
For close to 20 years, researchers have puzzled over why consuming artificial sweeteners appears to make it harder for people to control their calorie intake and body weight. They’ve run experiments on lab rats proving fake sugar increases their appetite.
Purdue University investigators fed rats yogurt sweetened with either glucose or saccharin and the fake sugar group gained more weight, put on more body fat and kept the extra weight on after the experiment. The researchers surmised that breaking the connection between a sweet sensation and a high-calorie food changes the body’s ability to regulate intake. Problems with self-regulation would help explain why obesity rates rose in lock-step with the use of artificial sweeteners.
The data clearly indicate that consuming a food sweetened with no-calorie saccharin can lead to greater body-weight gain and adiposity than would consuming the same food sweetened with a higher-calories sugar(1)
OK then, so how does the body tell the difference between fake and real sugar?
Because fruit flies and humans share about 75% of the same disease-causing genes — and because no one seems to mind sacrificing flies to the alter of science — University of Michigan researchers ran experiments on the insects and figured out how fly brains differentiate between the two.
The researchers deprived fruit flies of food for several hours and then gave them the choice between no-calorie sweeteners and real sugar. When the flies chose the real sugar, it activated neurons that released a hormone with receptors in the brain and gut. The hormone prompted digestion and the flies ate more. However when the flies licked the fake sugar, the hormone wasn’t released because there were no calories to activate the neurons.
In every case the flies landed on the fake sugar, they abandoned it to find the real sugar because their starved bodies needed calories. In previous experiments, the investigators discovered that flies that couldn’t taste still preferred real sugar to no-calorie sugar.
If human brains work the same way, it explains why diet foods don’t satisfy and why weight gain is common in people who eat them as diet foods(2).
If people are like flies, then dieters making a habit of zero-calorie sweeteners are bound to gain weight.
Using fruit flies again as guinea pigs, Australian researchers showed that the brain gets confused when sweetness is disassociated from calories and increases the number of calories needed for satiation. In other words, the brain tells the body it hasn’t eaten enough even though it has — no wonder artificial sweeteners promote weight gain!
In this study, investigators laced fruit fly food with artificial sweeteners for five or more days. Flies who ate these foods consumed 30% more calories than those fed naturally sweetened foods. The findings provided data leading to the blueprinting of a new neuronal network explains why nutritious food tastes better when you’re hungry.
The artificial sweetener-drunk flies were also hyperactive, suffered from insomnia and poor sleep quality.
To find out if fake sugar has the same impact on mammals, the researchers replicated the study using mice. The results were the same(3).
And the carbonation in diet soda makes it worse! Italian researchers report that carbonation in diet drinks makes it difficult for the brain to tell the difference between fake and real sugar.
For the study, investigators used MRIs to monitor changes in brain activity in response to naturally or artificially sweetened carbonated beverages. For as yet unknown reasons, fake but not real sugar in combination with carbonation alters the brain’s perception of sweetness. This is an important study because the findings were found in humans rather than flies or mice(4).
(1) American Psychological Association. “Artificial Sweeteners Linked To Weight Gain.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080210183902.htm>
(2) Monica Dus et al. Nutrient Sensor in the Brain Directs the Action of the Brain-Gut Axis in Drosophila. Neuron, June 2015
(3) Qiao-Ping Wang, Yong Qi Lin, Lei Zhang, Sucralose Promotes Food Intake through NPY and a Neuronal Fasting Response. Cell Metabolism, 2016; 24 (1): 75
(4) American Gastroenterological Association. “Carbonation alters the mind’s perception of sweetness.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130917093918.htm>.