Mycophilia wrote: »
Your friend is wrong.
_ankylosaurus_ wrote: »
Her reasoning is that the body processes artificial sweetener the same way that it processes sugar-with a release of insulin. According to her, the body "believes" it's consuming sugar. The excess insulin, she says, leads to weight gain. Besides that rudimentary explanation, I haven't inquired more.
klmcneil1 wrote: »
I wouldn't be so quick to say that your friend is wrong. There's a lot of complexity here that people above are ignoring:
There are several high-quality, long-term studies that show an association between artificial sweeteners and weight gain and diabetes, even after controlling for the fact that heavier people use are more likely to use artificial sweeteners. (For example: "Diet soda intake and risk of incident metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis," Diabetes Care (2009); "Dietary intake and the development of the metabolic syndrome: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study," Circulation (2008).)
Artificial sweeteners are not inert chemicals. They seems to affect the brain, including the appetite and reward pathways. (See "The effect of non-caloric sweeteners on cognition, choice and post-consumption satisfaction," Appetite (2014); "Sucralose, a synthetic organochorine sweetener: overview of biological issues," J Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health (2013); "Altered processing of sweet taste in the brain of diet soda drinkers," Physiology & Behavior (2012); "Sucralose affects glycemic and hormonal responses to an oral glucose load," Diabetes Care (2013).
Artificial sweeteners also seem to affect the beneficial bacteria in your gut. ("Splenda alters gut microflora and increases intestinal p-glycoprotein and cytochrom p-450 in male rats," Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health (2008).) They don't really understand fully yet how these bacteria are important for healthy body mass, but it's becoming more and more clear every day that they are important.
There's also good indications that the effects mentioned above are highly individualized, based on peoples' genetics and other factors that aren't wholly understood. So someone saying, "I live on diet soda and have lost a ton of weight" isn't really proving anything one way or the other.
Given the evidence, I certainly avoid artificial sweeteners, and would advise my friends to do the same. Because what's the point? We know for sure that sparkling water is safe, and won't negatively affect your weight loss, so just be on the safe side and drink that. You trained yourself to drink diet soda (it really is nasty if you're not used to it), so you can train yourself to drink water instead.
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