Results of a study in healthy volunteers indicate.
High levels of artificial sweetener consumption could therefore predispose people to development of type 2 diabetes, according to the findings from this trial…artificial sweeteners may limit the amount of glucose that can access more distal portions of the gut and reduce glucose exposure to distal cells that release glucagon like peptide 1.
Artificial Sweeteners Compared With Placebo in Healthy Subjects
The relationship between sugar sweetened beverages and type 2 diabetes has prompted policy changes, including the introduction of taxes on these beverages to try to reduce intake.
As an alternative, artificial sweeteners are used in so called “diet” sodas and some foodstuffs, but there is ongoing controversy over whether these cause more harm than good.
Until this study, it was unknown whether noncaloric artificial sweetened alters glucose absorption in humans, and if so, whether this adversely affects post-prandial glycemic control.
Healthy volunteers were recruited and the researchers assessed the effects of diet supplementation with combined noncaloric artificial sweetened such as sucralose and acesulfame-K, often found in diet beverages for 2 weeks in a double-blind, randomized parallel-group clinical study.
The scientists assessed the effects on glucose absorption, glycemic responses to intraduodenal glucose infusion, insulin production, and gut hormones, including glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide and glucagon like peptide 1 and 2.
Glucose Absorption & Glycemic Response Increased With Sweeteners
With respect to glucose absorption, the two groups showed similar absorption patterns at study start in response to enteral glucose, but after 2 weeks of noncaloric artificial sweetened supplementation, there was increased glucose absorption that was significant at 90 to 120 minutes after start of glucose consumption. We showed that sweeteners do augment the uptake of glucose. There was a 20% difference between glucose absorption in the placebo and noncaloric artificial sweetened supplemented group.
Findings Provide Impetus for Larger Studies in This Area
The findings highlight the potential for these responses in habitual consumers of artificial sweeteners and support the concept that artificial sweeteners could reduce the body’s control of blood sugar levels, exaggerating post meal glucose levels, which could predispose them to developing type 2 diabetes.