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Sucralose may not affect blood sugar or insulin resistance, study suggests

3 commentsBy Caroline Scott-Thomas , 09-Jan-2012

Sucralose may not raise levels of blood sugar or increase the likelihood of insulin resistance, according to the results of a new study published in the journal Nutrition Research, comparing the body’s response to sucralose and sucrose.

Although many products today are sweetened with zero-calorie sweeteners, obesity rates have continued to rise, leading some to hypothesize that zero-calorie sweeteners may contribute to obesity in other ways. Some have suggested that artificial sweeteners may trigger insulin release, which could lead to weight gain.

The authors of this latest study pointed out that “some epidemiological and animal evidence indicates an association between weight gain or insulin resistance and artificial sweetener consumption”.

Insulin resistance is a condition in which a person produces insulin, but their body does not use it efficiently to break down blood sugar, thereby raising their chances of developing diabetes and heart disease.

However, the American Dietetic Association has said that zero-calorie sweeteners could play a useful role in improving dietary compliance by increasing palatability of foods without adding calories.

The study’s authors, from Iowa State University, gave eight normal-weight female volunteers one of three drinks – sucrose in water, sucralose in water, or both sucrose and sucralose in water – and took blood samples at fasting, and 30 and 60 minutes after consumption. They were then given a standardized breakfast and blood samples were taken 30, 60, 90 and 120 minutes after breakfast. Samples were tested for glucose, insulin, glucagon (a hormone that raises blood glucose levels), triglycerides (which tend to be raised in response to carbohydrates and fatty foods), and the hunger hormone acylated ghrelin.

They found that consumption of the sucralose solution was similar to water alone in terms of hunger and the body’s response to glucose.

“Sucralose showed no significant differences compared with water and was significantly different than sucrose,” they wrote. “… Our data imply that sucralose may be a relatively inert option when used to increase palatability or lower the energy density of foods.”

The authors chose to examine the body’s response to sucralose because it has a structure more similar to sucrose than any other artificial sweetener.

Source: Nutrition Research

Vol. 31, Iss. 12, December 2011, pp. 882-888

“Short-term consumption of sucralose, a nonnutritive sweetener, is similar to water with regard to select markers of hunger signaling and short-term glucose homeostasis in women”

Authors: Andrew W. Brown, Michelle M. Bohan Brown, Kristine L. Onken, Donald C. Beitz

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3 comments (Comments are now closed)

Whats your point?

Other than anecdotes about an odd correlation with a sweetener and bad teeth, and stating details that are not relevant in the context with either your statement, or the report, what do your comments accomplish?

Fact... artificial sweeteners provide a sugar alternative that does not provide the calories that are provided by sugar.

Fact... The study above suggests that the consumption of a sucralose does not impact blood chemistry in a way that is perceptively different than consuming water.

Fact... consuming sugar, either derived from beets cane corn or what have you, does impact blood chemistries in a way that can be harmful to diabetics. Additional, overconsumption of said sugars can lead to diabetes because of these affects.

False... there is evidence that indicates a causal relationship between artificial sweeteners and any negative health effects.

Fact… Dissuading people from using artificial sweeteners without factual reasoning to do so can cause harm to those who could benefit from artificial sweeteners.

See what you can accomplish when you use fact and information as opposed to opinions and personal stories.

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Posted by Ryan
20 January 2012 | 16h17

Sucralose is hardly harmless as water

I have personally experienced extreme worsening of chronic gingivitis (gum disease) with the use of sucralose in Splenda. I avoid it at all costs, and that's difficult to do since Splenda and/or sucralose or high fructose corn syrup are added to so many foods.

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Posted by Peggy Deras
13 January 2012 | 22h28

Iowa State study on sucralose vs. sugar

Study is incredibly flawed. Sucralose is not consumed as a single ingredient. The sachets or packets of the national brand Splenda contains at least 98% dextrose which is a sugar derived from corn.

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Posted by Brian O'Malley
12 January 2012 | 12h52

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