Artificial sweeteners stimulate fat growth, harmful to metabolism, study finds

WASHINGTON — Artificial sweeteners have an effect on the body’s metabolism and can lead to excessive fat accumulation in people, especially those who are already obese, according to a recent study.

Dr. Sabyasachi Sen, an associate professor of medicine and endocrinology at George Washington University, led the study, explaining in a press release by the Endocrine Society that while many people rely on these artificial sweeteners as a low-calorie alternative to natural sweeteners, “there is increasing scientific evidence that these sweeteners promote metabolic dysfunction.”

Sugar or artificial sweetener
A new study finds that low-calorie artificial sweeteners can promote fat growth, especially in those already overweight, and can disturb one’s metabolism.

Sen and his colleagues tested the popular low-calorie sweetener sucralose on stem cells taken from human fat cells. They placed these cells in Petri dishes for 12 days, adding 0.2 millimolars of sucralose. The dosage is based on the concentration of sucralose in the bloodstreams of people with high consumption levels of the artificial sweetener — about four cans of diet soda per day.

The researchers observed increased expression of genes that produce fat and inflammation. They also saw an increased accumulation of fat droplets in the cells, especially when they increased the concentration of sucralose.

Using this data, Sen and his team analyzed biopsy samples of abdominal fat from eight subjects who consumed low-calorie sweeteners like sucralose and aspartame. Half of the subjects were a healthy weight, half were obese.

Dr. Sen found evidence of over-expressed fat-producing genes and of increased glucose transport into cells.

This metabolic dysregulation causes cells to produce more fat, according to Dr. Sen.

“We believe that low-calorie sweeteners promote additional fat formation by allowing more glucose to enter the cells, and promotes inflammation, which may be more detrimental in obese individuals,” explains Sen.

The findings from this study were presented at ENDO 2017, the Endocrine Society’s 99th annual meeting in Orlando in April.


    1. Study finds that you’re diagnosed with causality confusion.

      There are no elephants in my backyard; however, do not assume that I successfully applied elephant repellent thereto.

    1. In the “old days”, all the sodas had real sugar in them, and people put real sugar in their coffee and tea, as well. There was less obesity back then. It’s not about sugar, it is about lack of daily physical activity versus total caloric consumption, and about people eating foods that try to “trick” their body.

      1. Tricking one’s body with some Diet Coke, vs eating too much sugar/High fructose corn syrup causing spike in blood sugar and insulin response? Which is worse?? The latter of course! Unfortunately, many who use articifical sweeteners believe the can eat more of calorie laden food to take the place of sugar/HFCS in one’s diet. Nope, too many calories leads to weight gain.

    2. The purpose of this study is to get soft drinks completely banned. Just like Olestra. Can’t have folks finding an alternative way to eat food these folks think we shouldn’t be eating at all.

      1. If people use olestra too much, it gives them “the runs”, as it is not digested/absorbed by the intestines. Artificial sweeteners are mostly excreted out of the body unchanged by the liver and the kidneys. Some artificial sweeteners even sweeten one’s urine.

  1. Aspartame is militarized e.coli bacteria that are fed toxic waste then the e.coli bacteria poop out aspartame an excitotoxin that’s bad for your brain and your body but it’s your body so drink and eat what you want

    1. Yeah, and honey is bee vomit. And 50% of salt is a deadly, corrosive substance used in WWI as a horrifying chemical weapon.

    1. I bet a lot of people drink more than 4 diet sodas a day. Not to mention sugar free gum, yogurt, coffee, flavored water, and many other sugar free products.

      1. When you throw them all together perhaps. But the use the equivalent of 4 sodas. I eat yogurt every day but limit my intake to those with less than 10grams of sugar

    1. They trot this out every few months during slow news days when they need some filler. That and the one about aspartame turns into formaldehyde. Rice contains arsenic but the Yalu River isn’t clogged with dead Chinese.

  2. Make up your mind. Slowed glucose uptake causes diabetes. Increased uptake should reduce the risk of diabetes. Sounds like we need to use sucralose as an anti-diabetic agent in conjunction with calorie restriction and exercise.

    1. Or calorie restriction and exercise alone — assuming patient compliance, of course.

      Now that won’t sell sucralose, but…

  3. Get back to me in 20 years. I’ve stopped listening to these studies as they are almost ALWAYS invalidated by a follow up study.

    1. The study is highly questionable right on the face of it from what’s reported here. First, it’s an in vitro study. When we drink or eat things that have artificial sweeteners, they have to pass through our digestive system and other body processes which may make a huge difference in how much or what even makes it to cells, Next, they only studied stem cells in petri dishes, not the vastly more common types of cells in the body. Next, it sounds like they had no control group. Finally, they never say/apparently didn’t study how this compares to people using sugar instead. And that’s just off the top of my head.

      So – it’s a subject well worth studying, but we sure as heck need a lot more and a lot better than this before coming to ANY conclusions. The conclusions from this study simply aren’t supported by the study data. They might be ok if phrased very clearly as speculation, and calls for more study – but that’s the extent of it.

        1. I’m sure that’s true – but what is presented here is supposedly a good overview of the study – and as such, it’s dismally flawed.

          1. Global Warming is a prime example. Create the results you want, and massage the data until it fits . If it can’t be molded to fit, ignore it.

  4. I’m sure if you drink 10 diet sodas a day it can be harmful, but excess of anything is harmful.

  5. I hate artificial sweeteners.

    I prefer sugar and corn syrup…and a good cigar, when you know what to do with it. 😉

        1. Really get some help immediately!!! Disgusting thoughts have made you one disgusting, sick, abnormal animal. Go away and leave the normal people alone.

  6. Sugar. Fake sugar. It is all terrible for you. Humans weren’t meant to have concentrated sweeteners in their diet. If you want something sweet, eat fruit.

        1. His first sentence says sugar is terrible for you. Then he says eat fruit, which contains sugar, if you want something sweet.

        2. I wasn’t aware anyone guzzled corn syrup straight from the bottle. I thought they usually put it in food, thus diluting it.

      1. Fruit has fiber which has been shown to slow glucose absorption lowering blood sugar levels. The problem (read my original comment again) is CONCENTRATED sweeteners. Sweeteners where you have removed everything else that was with it in its original form. Fruit isn’t the problem. Extracted sugar from “fruit” is the problem.

        1. And by the way, nice passive aggressive put down. I could respond in kind but I will stick to the issue instead.

  7. Wait – we’re discussing a study with a grand total of EIGHT subjects? That is in NO WAY significant – it’s trolling for more money…..

      1. Hollywood could volunteer a few more subjects for a cox inhibitor. Louis CK and Weinstein have trouble inhibiting their cox!!!

  8. I remember when oat bran was going to save the world. And when Butter was declared bad but margarine was good etc etc…Eggs kill you…oops no they don’t but Cholesterol is bad…oops no it isn’t…but red meat causes cancer…except it doesn’t and now studies show it helps to fight depression…..There is a reason that good science is skeptical.

  9. studies have now proven that someone put the very flammable Hydrogen in your water!!!!! call your democrat senator and tell them to quit worrying about Guam tipping over and start worrying about this flammable substance being hidden in water!!!!!

      1. sarcasm not your strong suit? democrat Congressman Hank Johnson once said he was worried that the Island of Guam would tip over( Its on you tube and easily Googled) Water is made of Hydrogen and oxygen….and I am highlighting how the same stupid logic, used in the article above, could be used to claim water is unsafe. If you still don’t understand I can’t help you. All the best.

    1. Splenda tastes fine to me, I use it everyday in my iced tea at work.
      Once you get used to the taste, then sugar tastes too sweet.

    2. Stevia, baby. All day. It’s actually natural but so sweet you need almost none to get the same effect as sugar.

  10. I recently found out I have diabetes. The doctor put me on a pill and gave me a blood-sugar device to check my blood levels. Along with watching what I ate, I started drinking a lot of diet drinks, but my number kept climbing. I switched to regular cokes and within a few days my numbers dropped to normal. I’m convinced that diet sweeteners trick the body.

    1. I know people who have gotten completely off their diabetes meds just because they stopped eating bread and grain products. Bread=bad, I guess. But it is delicious!

      1. You got that right. I tried Atkins once. The day I started I craved carbs. I’m not obese, just overweight. I know I’d look and feel better, but food is my passion. The diets I’ve been on made me an unhappy camper. At 69, it’s probably better to simply eat, drink, and be merry. Life is too ephemeral to waste it.

  11. “Studies” have become almost as bad as Polling these days. All the corporation or group that wants to finance the study has to do is find a few research scientists who’ll conduct the study in a way that will deliver the desired results. Science lives off grants and no one gives out grants for studies that don’t support their cause. Just another example of how everything has been politicized in one way or another.

  12. I wish someone would conduct a study on why democrats hate America. Seems they support every abnormal behavior and fringe group.

        1. Michael Moore
          Chelsea Handler
          Colin Kapernik
          Rosie O’Donnell
          many other celebrities
          The BLM movement
          Nearly every snowflake on a university campus
          university faculty on nearly every campus
          most San Fransiscans
          most Seattlites
          Should I go on?

        2. OK where are the specific examples? You’re starting with Barack Obama? A popular two term President of the United States? When did President Obama ever say he hates America? Show me one example.

        1. No, just name one and link to an article that backs up your point. Remember, if a Democrat says something critical about America it doesn’t mean that person hates America. Does Donald Trump hate America for saying it isn’t great anymore? Or by colluding with Russia, our number one enemy?

          1. Compare the philosophy of Barack Obama to the people who founded this country, and you couldn’t imagine more fierce enemies.

            What does America mean to you? That is the question. To Barack Obama and the rest of the soviet left, their agenda for “hope and change” represent the very destruction of the previous order within the United States. That is why they “hate America,” just like the rest of the insolent gladiators in the NFL and Antifa whose very aim is to destroy the order of our American nation and replace it with their own chaotic, asexual American wasteland in the name of envy masquerading as equality.

            Member of the Democratic party are the biggest tools for these revolutionaries, and if you don’t learn to reject their false moral premises, you yourself and your posterity, if your generation are lucky enough to successfully breed, are headed for complete national suicide.

            Here’s a starter essay for you:

          2. You’re wrong! Just because you didn’t like Barack Obama doesn’t mean that Barack Obama hates America. Now grow up!

  13. Just by empirical evidence these results are not surprising. Hasn’t there been a huge spike in obesity since the low fat, sugar free push?? (yes there has)

    1. I saw an article that showed that the obesity outbreak coincides perfectly with the start of the war on animal fats.

    2. The low fat push was started LONG after the “low cal” stuff. Don’t you remember, diet pop in the ’60s? And the moronic low fat thing was more of, what a late 90s push? There wasn’t some huge spike in obesity in the 60s or 70s or even much in the 80s, when diet soda pops were everywhere, same as now. You cannot make any rational conclusion at all, using what you just wrote.

      1. I wasn’t alive in the 60s and 70s, Grandpa. I’m pretty sure that sucralose and aspartame did not exist back then in diet sodas. After a quick google search, the low fat recommendation nucleated from a 1976 senate hearing called by George McGovern. So, yes, I do think there’s a direct correlation between obesity and fake sugar and low fat. Btw, fake sugar spikes your insulin – this is proven

    3. Nope. Most obesity in the nation is among the poor. Give people free food and take away self-esteem through the dole, and you get the food equivalent of alcoholism: emotional eating to excess to compensate for lack of self-worth.

  14. This should be obvious. I notice a lot of defensive denial… Personally, I can’t stand the taste of chemical sweetener and, frankly, I can’t imagine anyone does without first acclimating their taste buds. That should be evidence enough. Not to mention the obvious fact that they’re ARTIFICIAL. Would you spray round up on your iced tea? I wouldn’t. (Fun fact: Monsanto STARTED as a company peddling saccharin)

  15. Some folks at MIT, Harvard and Berkeley became concerned about research they were seeing. They did an extensive drill down and announced that 67% of “medical” studies are so poor and erroneous as to border on being hoaxes. I think they are going to establish a watchdog group, hopefully.

  16. Apparently the only diet that works for losing weight is the No Food Diet but even this leads to starvation and death in a couple of months. Oh well.

  17. Have these findings been replicated by anyone else? Do the results show a clear cause and effect or just a statistical inference?

  18. Those cells were in a culture medium with essentially unlimited glucose, so, that experiment is more like what would happen if you had a diet soda while continuously eating massive quantities of sugar. The diet soda ain’t gonna make any difference in how fat you get.

    1. This hasn’t been known at all. It’s been SAID, and many have used anecdotal evidence, like that silly junk about how inoculations cause autism.

  19. Breaking…study finds that believing published study findings is hazardous to your sanity.

    Best to wait for the next 9 studies which will all invalidate themselves and each other.

  20. The conclusions of this limited study deserve serious attention. Since the introduction of artificial sweeteners a new type of fatty liver has been recognized. In medical terms it is called;” steatohepatitis” .
    This new type of liver disease will soon be the most common cause for a “liver transplant”
    This author speaks from personal experience!

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