October 12, 2017 – Artificial Sweeteners and Diabetes


Anchor lead: If you’re a fan of artificial sweeteners you may want to consider other options, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Artificial sweeteners seem like such a good idea, since they don’t have any calories, but a lot of evidence is turning up that they have a substantial downside. Now a new study from the European Association for the Study of Diabetes meeting adds more. Rita Kalyani, a diabetes expert at Johns Hopkins, said researchers gave subjects artificial sweeteners, then looked at metabolism of sugar, or glucose.

Kalyani: They gave them in a very high quantity, the equivalent of 1.5 liters of diet beverage per day. That’s a lot but what they wanted to do was to see after two weeks, whether glucose measures were higher in those who took the artificial sweeteners. They did find that there was an exaggerated glucose response. Maybe those who take artificial sweeteners every day might be more likely to have high blood sugars in the long term. It was a very small pilot study, only 27 people but it had some really great physiological measures to look at the effects of sweeteners after just a few weeks. :33

Kalyani says high blood sugars put someone on the path to diabetes. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.