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Artificial Sweeteners Cause Weight Gain, Heart Disease and More

5 years, 8 months ago

38042  4
Posted on Jul 18, 2017, 8 a.m.

Artifical sweeteners may be linked to weight gain, increased obesity risk, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

A new study shows artificial sweeteners might be tied to weight gain along with a heightened risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure. The results of the study were recently published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

A Word on Artificial Sweeteners

Examples of artificial sweeteners include stevia, aspartame, and sucralose. These sweeteners are incredibly popular. Their consumption continues to rise as time progresses. The unfortunate truth is that recent findings suggest the consumption of these sweeteners has a negative impact on appetite, metabolism and gut bacteria. However, the evidence is somewhat contradictory.

About the Study 

Academicians from the George and Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation at the University of Manitoba performed a comprehensive review of 37 studies in order to gain a better understanding of whether the consumption of artificial sweeteners is tied to negative effects on the heart and weight across posterity. The studies followed more than 400,000 individuals across an average of a decade. Yet only seven of these studies were considered to be randomized controlled trials. Trials of this sort are considered to be optimal in the context of clinical research. The seven that qualified involved over 1,000 people across half a year on average.

The trials showed that artificial sweeteners did not have a consistent effect on weight loss. The lengthier observational studies displayed a connection between the consumption of artificial sweeteners and the fairly high risks of weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and a number of other health issues. Though millions of people regularly consume artificial sweeteners, few patients were included in the clinical trials of such products. The researcher determined the data from such clinical trials failed to support artificial sweeteners' intended benefits for weight management.


People should consume artificial sweeteners with caution until the long-term health effects are comprehensively understood. The study's lead author, Meghan Azad, an Assistant Professor at the University of Manitoba's Rady Faculty of Health Sciences is leading her Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba team in the undertaking of a new study. They will attempt to determine how the consumption of sweeteners by pregnant individuals might affect weight gain, gut bacteria in infants and weight gain. Additional research is necessary to gauge the long-term benefits and risks of such products. There is a reasonable chance sweeteners play a role in the obesity epidemic as well as related diseases.

You may also want to read: Erythritol Identified as Marker for Weight Gain

Meghan B. Azad, Ahmed M. Abou-Setta, Bhupendrasinh F. Chauhan, Rasheda Rabbani, Justin Lys, Leslie Copstein, Amrinder Mann, Maya M. Jeyaraman, Ashleigh E. Reid, Michelle Fiander, Dylan S. MacKay, Jon McGavock, Brandy Wicklow, Ryan Zarychanski. Nonnutritive sweeteners and cardiometabolic health: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials and prospective cohort studies. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2017; 189 (28): E929 DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.161390

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