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Sucralose and metabolism

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that a popular artificial sweetener can modify how the body handles sugar. They analyzed the sweetener sucralose in volunteers who are obese people, do not have diabetes and don’t use artificial sweeteners regularly, and their results that the sweetener can influence how the body reacts to glucose.

ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS ARE THOUGHT TO MAKE FOODS AND DRINKS TASTE SWEET WITHOUT ANY OF THE OTHER CONSEQUENCES THAT COME FROM SUGAR. BUT NOW STUDYING PEOPLE WHO ARE OBESE, NUTRITION RESEARCHERS AT WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE IN ST. LOUIS HAVE FOUND THAT AT LEAST ONE ARTIFICIAL SWEETENER DOES, INDEED, AFFECT HOW THE BODY SECRETES INSULIN IN RESPONSE TO BLOOD GLOCUSE. JIM DRYDEN REPORTS…

WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY NUTRITION RESEARCHER YANINA PEPINO SAYS ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS THAT ARE ADDED TO FOODS ARE SUPPOSED TO MAKE THINGS TASTE SWEET WITHOUT DOING MUCH OF ANYTHING ELSE.

(act) :08 o/c a taste

They have very low, if any, calories. So the idea is just

give a taste, and it will go through your body and do

nothing else than just provide you with a taste.

WE HAVE RECEPTORS ON OUR TONGUES THAT ALLOW US TO TASTE SWEET THINGS, AND SO-CALLED NON-NUTRITIVE SWEETENERS STIMULATE THOSE RECEPTORS, BUT THEY HAVE VIRTUALLY NO CALORIES SO THAT’S PRETTY MUCH ALL THAT THE SWEETNERS WERE THOUGHT TO DO. BUT RECENT STUDIES IN MICE AND IN RATS HAVE FOUND THAT THERE ARE RECEPTORS IN THE GUT THAT ARE JUST ABOUT IDENTICAL TO THE SWEET-TASTE RECEPTORS IN OUR MOUTHS, RAISING THE QUESTION OF WHETHER NON-NUTRITIVE SWEETENERS MIGHT ALSO BE ABSORBED INTO OTHER PARTS OF THE BODY AND AFFECT HOW ORGANS LIKE THE LIVER OR THE PANCREAS DO THEIR JOBS, WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED IN SOME ANIMAL STUDIES. THE FINDINGS RAISE CONCERN BECAUSE PEOPLE ATTEMPTING TO LOSE WEIGHT OFTEN CONSUME THINGS THAT CONTAIN THESE SWEETENERS, BUT PEPINO SAYS SEVERAL STUDIES IN PEOPLE FAILED TO REPRODUCE THE FINDINGS FROM ANIMALS.

(act) :12 o/c by itself

Most of the other studies were done in healthy, lean individuals,

and in most of the studies, they did it just giving the sucralose

alone, or the artificial sweetener alone, by itself.

SO PEPINO GAVE THE SWEETENER SUCRALOSE, COMMERCIALLY KNOWN AS SPLENDA, TO A DIFFERENT POPULATION OF PEOPLE.

(act) :20 o/c non-nutritive sweeteners

We also decided to study a different population. We decided we

wanted to study obese individuals because they are the ones who

most frequently are recommended to get into these healthier diets,

trying to control for their sugars. And we also, I was very interested

and I wanted to study people that were naïve, or non-regular users,

of non-nutritive sweeteners.

THAT’S BECAUSE IF THE SWEETENERS WERE HAVING AN EFFECT, IT WOULD BE HARDER TO IDENTIFY IT IN PEOPLE WHO USED THEM ON A REGULAR BASIS. PEPINO RECRUITED 17 PEOPLE WITH OBESITY WHO DIDN’T USE THESE SWEETENERS AND BROUGHT THEM IN FOR A COUPLE OF VISITS.

(act) :11 o/c during pregnancy

Some people, on the first day, they received sucralose – some

people received water – just 10 minutes before they got this

glucose load that is like what you have when you do an oral

glucose tolerance test, like during pregnancy.

THAT EXPERIMENT SHOWED THAT SUCRALOSE DID INFLUENCE HOW PEOPLE PROCESSED GLUCOSE THAT THEY HAD CONSUMED.

(act) :13 o/c the sucralose

Those days that they drank sucralose 10 minutes before the

glucose load, we found that there was a higher peak for the

glucose, and we found that the response of insulin was

significantly higher the day that they drank the sucralose.

PEPINO SAYS WHETHER THE RISE IN SUGAR AND INSULIN LEVELS IS GOOD OR BAD STILL ISN’T KNOWN, BUT SHE SAYS IT’S CLEAR FROM THIS STUDY THAT SUCRALOSE IS DOING SOMETHING.

(act) :12 o/c other consequence

We only know that, that it’s not inert, that at least for this

population, we cannot hold still the idea that it’s something

sweet that you put in your mouth, and it will go without any

other consequence.

PEPINO AND HER COLLEAGUES REPORT THEIR FINDINGS IN THE JOURNAL DIABETES CARE. I’M JIM DRYDEN…

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