Light Products Make You Bigger

Light Products Make You Bigger

Light products make you lose weight … according to manufacturers, but not according to researchers. Worse, they could promote overweight and diabetes by luring the brain and interacting with the intestinal flora.

Light Products Make You Bigger

Generally, light products contain artificial sweeteners. Among them, aspartame is the most widely used sweetener in the world (it is present in more than 6000 products). Interest? No calories and always a sweet taste. Everyone is a priori, since according to the European Food Safety Authority, aspartame would be safe for health … Yet for Professor Jean-François Narbonne, toxicologist, expert at ANSES, consultant for , “It is best to avoid aspartame”. Although evidence of its involvement in health problems is lacking and the results are still contradictory, aspartame does not appear to be trivial and would represent both an obstacle to weight loss and a risk factor for glucose intolerance And diabetes.

Studies suggest that aspartame causes two phenomena:

  • An increase in appetite due to the fact that aspartame – like other artificial sweeteners – does not activate reward circuits in the same way as sugar causing over-feeding to compensate;
  • Changes in the intestinal microbiota that would explain metabolic changes.

Sweeteners Stop Losing Weight

Many people who want to lose weight adopt light drinks … but according to a new study published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism it seems that this is a bad choice. On the contrary, light drinks that contain aspartame impair weight loss.

Sugar substitutes such as aspartame are designed to promote weight loss and limit the incidence of metabolic syndrome, but several clinical and epidemiological studies have suggested that these products do not work very well and may even make things worse ” explains Authors of the article.

The researchers studied 4 groups of mice for 18 weeks. 2 groups received a normal diet, one with plain water and the other with water containing aspartame. The other 2 groups received a diet high in fat, with the same variations for water.

Researchers have shown that mice that consume aspartame in their water gain more weight than those who do not, despite a similar diet. However, when the mice were fed the normal diet, the researchers found little difference in weight between the water + aspartame group and the water group. In contrast with a high-fat diet, weight gain was significantly higher in the aspartame group. Similarly, researchers found higher glucose intolerance in mice who consume aspartame and a high-fat diet.

We have found that a metabolite of aspartame – phenylalanine – blocks an intestinal enzyme called alkaline intestinal phosphatase (IPA) which is normally able to prevent obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. We believe that aspartame blocks the beneficial effects of this enzyme . “ The activity of the enzyme decreases by 50% in the presence of aspartame.

Consumers do not understand why these artificial sweeteners do not work. There is evidence that they can actually give you more hungry and be associated with an increase in calorie consumption.Our results regarding inhibition of API by aspartame may also explain why using aspartame is counterproductive . “

In an earlier study conducted on 23,695 people, researchers had shown that for overweight people drinking lighter sodas led to consuming more solid calories than sugary sodas. The artificial sweeteners present in high doses in lightened sodas indeed activate the centers of reward in the brain, and modify the feeling to sweet taste. Sweeteners act by altering appetite control: the brain no longer has reliable information on energy consumption.

They increase the risk of diabetes by modifying the intestinal microbiota

By studying the impact of artificial sweeteners on laboratory mice and volunteers, researchers have shown that false sugars – including aspartame – disrupt the composition of the intestinal flora and the ability to use glucose.

Artificial sweeteners have been introduced massively into our diet with the idea of ​​reducing caloric intake and normalizing blood glucose levels without jeopardizing our appetite for sweetness, ” the researchers write. But our work suggests that they could have directly contributed to strengthening the epidemic they were supposed to fight .”

Three widely used sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose and saccharin) were added to water ingested by mice, at the acceptable daily intakes established by the American Agency for Health (FDA). These mice developed glucose intolerance in contrast to those who had ingested only water or sugar water. Glucose intolerance occurs when the body reacts less to the effects of insulin to control blood sugar levels. It precedes diabetes.

In the same study, researchers showed on volunteers that artificial sweeteners altered the intestinal flora.

Another study carried out on 66,188 women in France revealed for the first time a risk of diabetes higher with drinks called “light” (with artificial sweeteners therefore) than with sweetened drinks.

The results show that women who consume “light” sweetened drinks drink more than those who consume “normal” (2.8 glasses / week) drinks, ie 568 mL, compared to 1.6 glasses / week, ie an average of 328 mL, respectively).

Compared to women who do not drink at all, women who drink the most sweetened drinks (over 359 mL / week) have a 34% risk of diabetes during the study (14 years) ; Those who drink the most light drinks (over 603 mL / week) have a risk multiplied by 2.21.

These compounds could, according to the researchers, modify the intestinal microbiota: some intestinal bacteria could thus interact with the chemical compounds of the sweeteners – which are not absorbed by the intestine – favoring inflammatory reactions causing disorders Metabolic disorders such as glucose intolerance or diabetes.



Sarah S. Gul, A. Rebecca L. Hamilton, Alexander R. Munoz, Tanit Phupitakphol, Wei Liu, Sanjiv K. Hyoju, Konstantinos P. Economopoulos, Sara Morrison, Dong Hu, Weifeng Zhang, Mohammad Hadi Gharedaghi, Haizhong Huo, Sulaiman R. Hamarneh, Richard A. Hodin. Inhibition of the gut enzyme intestinal alkaline phosphatase may explain how aspartame promotes glucose intolerance and obesity in mice Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 0, 0, 10.1139 / apnm-2016-0346

Bleich SN, Wolfson JA, Vine S, Wang YC. Diet-Beverage Consumption and Caloric Intake Among Adults, Overall and by Body Weight. Am J Public Health. 2014 Jan 16.

Fagherazzi G, Vilier A, Saes Sartorelli D, Lajous M, Balkau B, Clavel-Chapelon F. Consumption of artificially and sugar-sweetened beverages and incident type 2 diabetes in the Epidemiological study with women of the Mutuelle Generale de l’Education Nationale -European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Jan 30.

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