Diet soda is killing you


A series of experiments conducted by researchers in Israel suggests that artificial sweeteners are a causative factor in metabolic disorders like glucose intolerance, a forerunner to diabetes.

According to New Scientist, chemical sweeteners have caused glucose intolerance in mice because they alter the bacterial balance in the gut, and early testing shows they do the same in some human subjects.

“The most shocking result is that the use of sweeteners aimed at preventing diabetes might actually be contributing to and possibly driving the epidemic that it aims to prevent,” said study co-author Eran Elinav of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel to New Scientist.

The study’s abstract — published in the journal Nature — said, “Non-caloric artificial sweeteners (NAS) are among the most widely used food additives worldwide, regularly consumed by lean and obese individuals alike. NAS consumption is considered safe and beneficial owing to their low caloric content, yet supporting scientific data remain sparse and controversial.”

Elinav and co-author Eran Segal said, “Collectively, our results link NAS consumption, dysbiosis and metabolic abnormalities, thereby calling for a reassessment of massive NAS usage.”

10 thoughts on “Diet soda is killing you

  1. Use the herbal extract: Stevia. For many years the sugar lobby prevented it’s use as a sweetener, so you could only buy it as a ‘supplement’ at the DFH stores. Now it’s showing up in small packets in restaurants, and in boxes on the supermarket shelf.

  2. Or Agave Nectar (Blue Agave plant extract). This was just another Capitalist plot (NAS) to sicken and kill off as many of us as possible in the shortest amount of time. At the same time lining the oligarchy’s pockets with the gold pried from the hands of dead men and women walking. For other offers of instant death rely on the neo-cons.

  3. There’s a new falafel joint in town that has agave-sweetened fountain drinks.
    The flavor is very intense, almost too much so.
    $2 for a medium-large glass, and 50 cents for a refill.

  4. The NAS don’t have bad effects directly. The reason they’re non-caloric is that they’re not digested. Anything not digested winds up in the large intestine, and some of the bacteria there *can* digest various NASs. So you select for that kind of bacteria, and since they’re not usually the kinds Nature intended, they don’t seem to have good effects.

    What this research is really telling us is to pay more attention to the huge effect of gut bacteria on health.

    I don’t think anyone has done any studies, yet, of gut flora changes after Stevia.

    Agave nectar is digestible sugars, just a slightly different profile than what you usually get in US diets. (Higher fructose than most other natural sources.) Raw agave juice contains inulin (like, say, Jerusalem artichokes) which is a less-digestible sugar and might have an impact on gut flora. Nobody, afaik, has studied what that is. By the time the agave nectar reaches bottling though, most of the inulin has been broken down to simpler, digestible sugars.

    (Take notes. This will all be on the test next Friday….)

  5. Susie, it pays to shop around for a stevia brand that you like, they’re not all made the same. For instance, for some reason Coca-Cola seems to think stevia is too bitter so they cut their Truvia with something that makes it taste (at least to my husband) like vanilla. We like Stevia in the Raw, and tend to buy it in bulk (large re-closable bags). I also have a liquid stevia extract at work (from SkinnyGirl) that I can squirt into hot or cold drinks, and tablets (that we got in England last year) that I carry with me that works best in hot drinks. I have never cared for artificial sweeteners, they always taste tinny to me and give me headaches and I just don’t cotton to all the chemicals.

  6. I don’t believe anyone who says aspartame is not digested. It definitely gets into you blood stream somehow.
    I much prefer to drink the aspartame soda, because I don’t find it too sweet the way most people do. Sugar drinks put me in a very cranky mood, and they also make my mouth feel dirty to where I can’t wait to get home to brush my teeth and rinse my mouth out with salt and baking soda.
    But I finally gave up on the artificially sweetened drinks because I finally made the connection between them and the ringing in my ears (also, the itchiness that can’t be scratched and general bloating and heat that I feel there when I rub them).
    In traditional chinese medicine, the ears are often connected to the kidney, and I start to wonder what the hell that shit has been doing to my kidneys and other organs the last 30 years.

  7. PS, Maybe it has to do with age, but I just don’t understand why people need sweeteners. I tried that agave crap to sweeten my oatmeal, but it lasted forever and although it wasn’t bad, for some reason I developed a slight aversion to it. So I started just eating it with cinnamon and butter (although I do like maple syrup as a sweetener). In fact, if I am going to have anything sweet at all, like a cookie or doughnut, I need something bitter to go with it, or I will just take a pass (even my favorite, which is hot fresh krispy creme donuts)
    I drink my coffee black, and I drink plenty of it. But come the afternoon, I want something cool and refreshing, and a diet soda is so tempting. Plain water would be the smartest and heathiest choice, but the craving is always for the diet coke/pepsi/dr pepper.
    After I figured out the effects aspartame have on me (or at least a couple of the effects) I tried that new NAS that is being promoted as a healthier alternative. I forget the name, but it is even worse, and then when I read about it, it sounded even as scarier than aspartame. Sucralose?

  8. Beware of Truvia : It is Cargill’s. Guess when they failed at getting STevia banned, they resorted to the “if you can’t beat them, join them” tune. Bets option is to get it from natural foods store and that too in bulk to save money.

    Susie, it took a while for me to get used to Stevia. And I have the sweetest tooth that can be imagined. But now I like it.

    And you are right about Agave – have tried it and then came to know that it is not as good.

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