Some surprising things about “Diet Soda”. Seems it can promote weight gain, contributes to Diabetes, and increases cardiovascular risks.
Is there a link between diet soda and heart disease?
Posted February 21, 2012, 12:36 pm , Updated February 23, 2012, 9:42 am
Senior editor, Harvard Health
University of Miami and Columbia University researchers followed roughly 2,500 New Yorkers for 10 years. All of the study volunteers were over age 40 and had never had a stroke. At the start of the study, each participant indicated her or his diet soda intake as “none” (less than 1 per month), “light” (1 diet soda a month to 6 diet sodas a week), or “daily” (1 or more a day). Each year, researchers contacted participants by phone to ask them about changes in risk factors and medications, as well as any health problems and hospitalizations that may have occurred.
At the end of 10 years, the daily diet soda drinkers were more likely to have had a stroke or heart attack, or to have died from vascular disease. The increased risk remained even after study investigators accounted for smoking, exercise, weight, sodium intake, high cholesterol, and other factors that could have contributed to the difference. The results were published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
Both regular and diet soft drinks were linked with certain, but separate, cardiovascular disease risk factors. In this study, frequent diet soda drinkers were more likely to be former smokers and have higher blood sugar, high blood pressure, and, ironically, larger waistlines. They were also more likely to have metabolic syndrome. That’s the name for a cluster of risk factors—high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels—that occur together and increase the risk for heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Folks who drank regular soda were more likely to smoke and eat more carbohydrates, but were less likely to have diabetes or high cholesterol.
A study such as this one can only hint at an association between diet soda and cardiovascular risk. It can’t pinpoint a cause and effect. But it’s not the first to implicate diet soda as a cardiovascular risk factor. A report from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, published in the journal Diabetes Care, found that people who drank diet soda every day had a 36% greater risk of developing metabolic syndrome and a 67% greater risk of developing diabetes. Both of these conditions greatly raise the odds of having a stroke or heart attack. It’s a little surprising that diet soda drinkers were more like to develop two particular components of metabolic syndrome: larger waistlines and higher fasting glucose levels (results consistent with the New York study results).
My husband gently (but persistently) tells me there is nothing good about drinking diet soda, not even the taste I claim to enjoy so much. The evidence seems to back him up. For me, I have realized (time and again) that I just feel better when I don’t drink diet soda. When I make the effort, I’m reminded how much I enjoy other beverages such as carbonated water or iced tea.
3 Not-So-Sweet Insulin Effects of Artificial Sweeteners
By Ben BikmanNovember 11, 2016
The overall conclusion that artificial sweeteners increase the risk of insulin resistance is supported; people who drink an artificially sweetened (diet) soda daily have a 36% greater chance of developing the metabolic syndrome (remember that it used to be called “insulin resistance syndrome”) and a whopping 67% increased risk of type 2 diabetes. How can this be when diet soda has no calories? Well, there’s no clear answer; just a few theories.
Artificial Sweeteners May Be Worse than Sugar for Diabetics
August 09, 2012
Diet foods and drinks are widely promoted to help you lose weight but mounting evidence shows aspartame actually makes you fatter, increases dangerous visceral fat deposits, and adversely affects your blood glucose levels and worsens insulin sensitivity
The classic study conducted by the American Cancer Society 25 years ago of 80,000 women, which showed those who consumed diet sodas gained more weight than those that consumed regular sodas, is routinely ignored. Newer studies have also supported this early finding.
Recent animal research also shows exposure to aspartame in utero has a detrimental effect on learning and memory. Excitotoxins like aspartate and MSG have also been implicated in worsening fibromyalgia and irritable bowel symptoms
If you suspect an artificial sweetener might be to blame for a symptom you’re having, a good way to help you weed out the culprit is to do an elimination challenge. Guidelines are included.
By Dr. Mercola
Study Finds Aspartame Worsens Insulin Sensitivity
A recent study published in PLoS One3 found that chronic lifetime exposure to aspartame, commencing in utero, produces changes in blood glucose parameters and adversely impacts spatial learning and memory in mice.
The study, which was published in April, is a blow against claims that aspartame is an ideal sugar substitute for diabetics. The researchers used a dosage of aspartame that approximates the ADI for aspartame in the US (approx. 50 mg/kg body weight), and not only was aspartame found to decrease insulin sensitivity compared to controls, it also wrought havoc on brain function.
As I’ve mentioned on countless occasions, optimizing your insulin sensitivity is key for optimal health, as insulin resistance is a hallmark of virtually every chronic disease you can think of, but especially type 2 diabetes. Now, contrary to popular belief, aspartame is being revealed as a substance that actually decreases or worsens insulin sensitivity, which is the complete opposite of what you want—especially if you’re already pre-diabetic or diabetic!
According to the authors:
“At 17 weeks of age, male aspartame-fed mice exhibited weight gain, elevated fasting glucose levels and decreased insulin sensitivity compared to controls. Females were less affected, but had significantly raised fasting glucose levels.
During spatial learning trials in the MWM (acquisition training), the escape latencies of male aspartame-fed mice were consistently higher than controls, indicative of learning impairment… Interestingly, the extent of visceral fat deposition correlated positively with non-spatial search strategies such as floating and thigmotaxis, and negatively with time spent in the target quadrant and swimming across the location of the escape platform.
These data suggest that lifetime exposure to aspartame, commencing in utero, may affect spatial cognition and glucose homeostasis in C57BL/6J mice, particularly in males.”
Male mice fed aspartame experienced significantly higher weight gain compared to the control group, whereas female weight gain was unaffected by the aspartame diet compared to controls. Still, deposits of visceral fat—those dangerous fat deposits around internal organs, which are associated with an increased risk of heart disease in humans—increased in aspartame-fed mice of both sexes.
According to the authors:
“A random-fed insulin tolerance test administered at 19 weeks of age showed that glucose levels in male aspartame-fed mice were 120.2 percent higher than control mice following insulin challenge and remained significantly elevated above controls for up to 30 minutes, suggesting impairment of glucose and insulin regulation. The mean Area Under the Curve (AUC) in male aspartame-fed mice was significantly higher than control, suggesting deregulation of glucose homeostasis.
Also goes into the chemistry where Aspartame is metabolized to formaldehyde and methanol (both very not good).
The first video above — which contains highlights of Cori Brackett’s documentary film Sweet Misery — is an excellent summary of the problems with aspartame. You can also obtain the entire DVD if you’re intrigued by these clips. I believe Sweet Misery is one of the best documentaries out there on this topic.
In this follow-up article, I will discuss recent findings that link aspartame to increased risk of premature birth; it’s potential carcinogenic effects; and the ironic ‘side effect’ of it promoting rather than combating weight gain – which of course is one of its primary objectives as a sugar substitute.
One reason for aspartame’s potential to cause weight gain is because phenylalanine and aspartic acid – the two amino acids that make up 90 percent of aspartame — are known to rapidly stimulate the release of insulin and leptin; two hormones that are intricately involved with satiety and fat storage. Insulin and leptin are also the primary hormones that regulate your metabolism.
So although you’re not ingesting calories in the form of sugar, aspartame can still raise your insulin and leptin levels.
Elevated insulin and leptin levels, in turn, are two of the driving forces behind obesity, diabetes, and a number of our current chronic disease epidemics.
Over time, if your body is exposed to too much leptin, it will become resistant to it, just as your body can become resistant to insulin, and once that happens, your body can no longer “hear” the hormonal messages instructing your body to stop eating, burn fat, and maintain good sensitivity to sweet tastes in your taste buds.
If I drink aspartame sodas IMMEDIATELY my sense of sweet is dulled and anything else I’m eating no longer tastes right. Only the aspartame then tastes really sweet.
A list of references:
A bit techno geeky, but interesting:
Modified High-Density Lipoproteins by Artificial Sweetener, Aspartame, and Saccharin, Showed Loss of Anti-atherosclerotic Activity and Toxicity in Zebrafish
irst Online: 21 August 2014
Safety concerns have been raised regarding the association of chronic consumption of artificial sweeteners (ASs) with metabolic disorders, especially in the heart and brain. There has been no information on the in vivo physiological effects of AS consumption in lipoprotein metabolism. High-dosage treatment (final 25, 50, and 100 mM) with AS (aspartame, acesulfame K, and saccharin) to human high-density lipoprotein (HDL) induced loss of antioxidant ability along with elevated atherogenic effects. Aspartame-treated HDL3 (final 100 mM) almost all disappeared due to putative proteolytic degradation. Aspartame- and saccharin-treated HDL3 showed more enhanced cholesteryl ester transfer activity, while their antioxidant ability was disappeared. Microinjection of the modified HDL3 exacerbated the inflammatory death in zebrafish embryos in the presence of oxLDL. These results show that AS treatment impaired the beneficial functions of HDL, resulting in loss of antioxidant and anti-atherogenic activities. These results suggest that aspartame and saccharin could be toxic to the human circulation system as well as embryonic development via impairment of lipoprotein function.
Artificial sweetener High-density lipoprotein Atherosclerosis Zebrafish
Jae-Yong Kim and Ki-Hoon Park are co-first authors.
Other than that, no problem…