According to a newly released report, people should be careful when using artificial sweeteners, which include aspartame, sucralose, and stevia. Although these are becoming a more common variant, the full effects of their long-term use are still unknown, and the sugar-replacer might also be coming with its share of risks.
The new study points out that these sweeteners may lead, on the long-term, to weight gain or increased risks of high blood pressure, obesity, or diabetes, among others.
Artificial Sweeteners, Becoming More Widespread
According to a paper published earlier in 2017, artificial sweeteners are more becoming quite a commonly used variant. Some 41 percent of the US adults and about a quarter of US kids reported using this option. Most of those question stated that they consumed it once per day. Still, some point out that the consumption rates might be higher.
The new study was conducted by specialists from the George & Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation at the University of Manitoba and also from the Children’s Hospital Research Institute. Research is based on the systematic review of 37 studies which included more than 400,000 participants for a median period of 10 years.
Among them, only 7 were randomized controlled trials, which are held as being the ‘gold standard’ in clinical research. These seven studies involved some more than 1,000 people over an average of 6 months.
Review results state that the trials did not prove a consistent effect on weight loss determined by the artificial sweeteners. At the same time, the longer observational studies pointed out a potential link between them and the somewhat higher risks of weight gain. They also showed a possible such connection with higher blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and several other health issues.
According to the study team, their review shows that the currently available data, coming from previous research, does not “clearly support the intended benefits” of using such sweeteners in relation to weight management.
“Caution is warranted until the long-term health effects of artificial sweeteners are fully characterized,” stated Dr. Meghan Azad, the study lead and an assistant professor at the University of Manitoba.
The review results are available in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Image Source: Flickr