- It is a general tendency to replace sugar with artificial sweeteners
- Artificial sweeteners have always remained controversial
- Researchers still need to understand the effect of sweeteners on health
The study that were led by researchers from the University of Sydney revealed that switching to artificial sweeteners in order to boost the impact of a weight loss diet might be counter-productive as these sweeteners tend to suppress your food intake, further leading to a caloric loss. The research was carried out on flies and mice, where flies that consumed artificial sweeteners alongside a low carbohydrate diet showed an immediate increase in food intake. The increase varied according to the dose of sweeteners provided and was not observed in the flies who consumed unsweetened foods. Furthermore, regular consumption of artificial sweeteners increased hunger pangs due to a complex neuronal network that responds to artificially sweetened food by indicating the animal that it has not consumed enough energy.
"We show that acute ingestion of sucralose in the context of a low-carbohydrate diet causes a pronounced increase in calories consumed", said lead researcher Greg Neely, Associate Professor at the University of Sydney. "Although originally considered benign, a growing body of research including our own makes clear a connection between artificial sweeteners, hunger and food intake," Neely added.
The researchers further suggested that in order to fully understand the impact of artificial sweeteners on the overall health, a systematic investigation on these effects on metabolism will be required. "Distorting the perceived energy value of food, by manipulating sweetness through artificial means, has unanticipated consequences in these animal studies" Greg Neely said.
With Inputs from IANS