Do Artificial Sweeteners Cause Weight Gain?

Back in 1987, 70 million Americans consumed products made with artificial sweeteners. By 2000, that number had skyrocketed to more than 160 million. Clearly, the allure of sweet but calorie-free eating is alive and well. But is it all too good to be true?

In a surprising study, researchers from Purdue University tell us that artificial sweeteners may, in fact, be a contributing factor to obesity.

Researchers hypothesized that the body learns a relationship between the taste and texture of foods and the number of calories those foods contain. This information is then used by the body to signal hunger, fullness and to regulate the food we consume.

Sweetness, for example, is a signal to the body that calorie-rich food is being consumed. And in a world without artificial sweeteners, this is true; sugar is high in calories. But when you drink a can of diet coke, which is devoid of calories but still very sweet, this calorie-sweetness relationship is broken. Over time, the body will learn that it can’t trust sweetness to gauge calories, and the body loses its ability to regulate food consumption.

The hypothesis was supported by research with rats:

The rats that had experienced the inconsistent relationship between sweet taste and calories were less able to compensate for the calories contained in the snack and ate more than the rats that had experienced the consistent relationship between sweetness and caloric intake.

The same is believed to happen with humans. The body is unable to keep track of the calories we consume, and thus overeating ensues.

Researchers don’t believe that the breakdown of the sweetness-calorie relationship is the cause of obesity. Indeed, the obesity epidemic is far more complicated than that – and reasons can vary from individual to individual. But for a lot of people, it’s believed that artificial sweeteners could be a piece of the puzzle.

This doesn’t mean you should switch from diet beverages or sugar-free products back to the real thing. I think the real takeaway is the importance of eating healthy and nutritional foods – at least, most of the time. Instead of selecting between diet soda and traditional soda, why not opt for some ice water with a splash of lemon?

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Comments

  1. Weight Gain should be the least of your worries with artificial sweetners. Go to http://galbo.apricotanswer.com/ and then click on The Dangers of Aspartame, Diet Drinks, Microwaves, and Vaccinations
    (3 separate articles)

    There are alot more health risks than just wieght gain!!!

    • The newest evidence shows a direct link between drinking diet drinks and increased appetite afterwards.

      By Nancy Markle

      I have spent several days lecturing at the World Environmental Conference. Subject: “Aspartame Toxicity and Current Disease Epidemics.” In the keynote address by the EPA, they announced that there was an epidemic of multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus, and they did not understand what toxin was causing this to be rampant across the United States. I explained that I was there to lecture on exactly that subject. When the temperature of Aspartame exceeds 86ï½° F., the wood alcohol in Aspartame converts to formaldehyde and then to formic acid, which in turn causes metabolic acidosis. (Formic acid is the poison found in the sting of fire ants). The methanol toxicity mimics multiple sclerosis; thus people are being diagnosed as having multiple sclerosis in error. The multiple sclerosis is not a death sentence, where methanol toxicity is. In the case of systemic lupus, we are finding it has become almost as rampant as multiple sclerosis, especially in Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi drinkers. Also, with methanol toxicity, the victims usually drink three to four 12-ounce cans of them per day, some even more. In the cases of systemic lupus, which is triggered by Aspartame, the victim usually does not know that the Aspartame is the culprit. The victim continues its use, aggravating the lupus to such a degree that sometimes it becomes life threatening. When we get people off the Aspartame, those with systemic lupus usually become asymptomatic. Unfortunately, we cannot reverse this disease. On the other hand, in the case of those diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (when in reality, the disease is methanol toxicity), most of the symptoms disappear when the consumption of Aspartame ceases. We have seen cases where their vision has returned and even their hearing has returned. This also applies to cases of tinnitus. During the lecture I said “If you are using Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc.) and you suffer from fibromyalgia symptoms (spasms, shooting pains, numbness in your legs, cramps, vertigo, dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, joint pain, depression, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, blurred vision, or memory loss) – you probably have Aspartame Disease!” People were jumping up during the lecture saying, “I’ve got this, is it reversible?” It is rampant. Some of the speakers at my lecture were even suffering from these symptoms. In one lecture attended by the Ambassador of Uganda, he told us that their sugar industry is now adding Aspartame! He continued by saying that one industry leader’s son could no longer walk – due, in part, to product usage! This is a very serious problem. Even a stranger came up to Dr. Espisto (one of my speakers) and myself and said, “Could you tell me why so many people seem to be coming down with MS?” During a visit to a hospice, a nurse said that six of her friends, who were heavy Diet Coke addicts, had all been diagnosed with MS. This is beyond coincidence. Here is the problem. There were Congressional Hearings when Aspartame was included in 100 different products. Since this initial hearing, there have been two subsequent hearings, but to no avail. Nothing has been done. The drug and chemical lobbies have very deep pockets. Now there are over 5,000 products containing this chemical, and the patent has expired!!! At the time of the first hearing, people were going blind. The methanol in the Aspartame converts to formaldehyde in the retina of the eye. Formaldehyde is grouped in the same class of drugs as cyanide and arsenic – De adly Poisons!!! Unfortunately, it just takes longer to quietly kill, but it is killing and causing all kinds of neurological problems. Aspartame changes the brain’s chemistry. It is the reason for severe seizures. The drug changes the dopamine level in the brain. Imagine what this drug does to patients suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. This drug also causes Birth Defects! There is absolutely no reason to take this product. It is Not A Diet Product!!! The Congressional record says: “Aspartame makes you crave carbohydrates and will make you fat.” Dr. Roberts stated that when he got patients off Aspartame, their average weight loss was 19 pounds per person. The formaldehyde stores in the fat cells, particularly in the hips and thighs. Aspartame is especially deadly for diabetics. All physicians know what ¥wood alcohol will do to a diabetic. We find that physicians believe ¥that they have patients with retinopathy, when in fact, it is caused by the Aspartame. The Aspartame keeps the blood sugar level out of control, causing many patients to go into a coma. Unfortunately, many have died. People were telling us at the Conference of the American College of Physicians, that they had relatives that switched from saccharin to an Aspartame product and how that relative had suffered headaches, seizures, and in some cases, had eventually gone into a coma. Their physicians could not get the blood sugar levels under control. Thus, the patients suffered acute memory loss and eventually coma and death. Memory loss is due to the fact that aspartic acid and phenylalanine are neurotoxic without the amino acids found in protein. Thus, it goes past the blood brain barrier and deteriorates the neurons of the brain. Dr. Russell Blaylock, neurosurgeon, said: “The ingredients stimulate the neurons of the brain to death, causing brain damage of varying degrees. Dr. Blaylock has written a book entitled “Excito toxins: The Taste That Kills” [Health Press (800) 643-2665]. Dr. H.J. Roberts, diabetic specialist and world expert on Aspartame poisoning, has also written a book entitled: “Defense Against Alzheimer’s Disease” [(800) 814-9800]. Dr. Roberts tells how Aspartame poisoning is escalating Alzheimer’s Disease, and indeed it is. As the hospice nurse told me, women are being admitted at 30 years of age with Alzheimer’s Disease. Dr. Blaylock and Dr. Roberts will be writing a position paper with some case histories and will post it on the Internet. According to the Conference of the American College of Physicians: “We are talking about a plague of neurological diseases caused by this deadly poison.” Dr. Roberts realized what was happening when Aspartame was first marketed. He said: “My diabetic patients presented memory loss, confusion, and severe vision loss.” At the Conference of the American College of Physicians, doctors admitted that they did not know why. They had wondered why seizures were rampant (the phenylalanine in Aspartame breaks down the seizure threshold and depletes serotonin, which causes manic depression, panic attacks, rage and violence). Just before the conference, I received a Fax from Norway asking for a possible antidote for this poison ,because they are experiencing so many problems in their country because of it. This “Poison” is now available in 90 plus countries worldwide. Fortunately, we had speakers and ambassadors at the conference from different nations who have pledged their help. We ask that you help too. Print this article and give it out to warn everyone you know. Take anything that contains Aspartame back to the store. Take the “No Aspartame Test” and send us your case history. I assure you that Monsanto, the creator of Aspartame, knows how deadly it is. They fund the American Diabetes Association, American Dietetic Association, Congress, and the Conference of the American College of Physicians. The New York Times, on November 15, 1996, ran an article on how the American Dietetic Association takes money from the food industry to endorse their products. Therefore, they cannot criticize any additives or tell about their link to Monsanto. How bad is this? We told a mother who had a child on NutraSweet to get the child off the product. The child was having grand mal seizures everyday. The mother called her physician, who called the ADA, who told the doctor not to take the child off the NutrSweet. We are still trying to convince the mother that the Aspartame is causing the seizures. Every time we get someone with seizures off of Aspartame, the seizures stop. If this baby dies, you know whose fault it is, and what we are up against. There are 92 documented symptoms of Aspartame, from coma to death. The majority of them are neurological, because the Aspartame destroys the nervous system. Aspartame Disease is behind some of the mystery of the Desert Storm health problems. The burning tongue and other problems discussed in over 60 cases can be directly related to the consumption of an Aspartame product. Several thousand pallets of diet drinks were shipped to the Desert Storm troops. (Remember heat can liberate the methanol from the Aspartame at 86ï½° F.) Diet drinks sat in the 120ï½° F. Arabian sun for weeks at a time on pallets. The service men and women drank them all day long. All of their symptoms are identical to Aspartame poisoning. Dr. Roberts says: “Consuming Aspartame at the time of conception can cause birth defects.” The phenylalanine concentrates in the placenta, causing mental retardation, according to Dr. Louis Elsas, Pediatrician Professor, Genetics, at Emory University in his testimony before Congress. In the original lab tests, animals developed brain tumor (phenylalanine breaks down into DXP, a brain tumor agent). When Dr. Espisto was lecturing on Aspartame, one physician in the audience, a neurosurgeon, said: “When they remove brain tumors, they have found high levels of Aspartame in them.” Stevia, a sweet food, Not An Additive, which helps in the metabolism of sugar, which would be ideal for diabetics, has now been approved as a dietary supplement by the FDA. For years, the FDA has outlawed this sweet food because of their loyalty to Monsanto! If it says “Sugar Free” on the label – don’t even think about it! Senator Howard Metzenbaum wrote a bill that would have warned all pregnant mothers and the caregivers of infants and children of the dangers of Aspartame. The bill would have also instituted independent studies on the problems existing in the population (seizures, changes in brain chemistry, changes in neurological and behavioral symptoms). The powerful drug and chemical lobbies, letting loose the hounds of disease and death on an unsuspecting public, killed it. Since the Conference of the American College of Physicians, we hope to have the help of world leaders. Again, please help us, too. There are a lot of people out there who must be warned, please share this information with them.

    • wack job!

  2. I go to Purdue! Yay!

    I do my best to avoid pop and candy but are there other high sugar things I should be aware of?

  3. I used to laugh at my friends who would go to MacDonnalds and order a Big Mac, with big chips, and a diet coke. What is the sense in that?

    I’m a big fan of everything in moderation. If you drink a soda, drink the real thing, but don’t drink liters of the stuff.

  4. people think I’m weird when I go to a restaurant and order an unsweet tea, and then ask for sugar. Real sugar. They’re like, why don’t you just get sweet tea? And I tell them this about artificial sweeteners. And they still don’t understand.

    But I’m glad someone else has confirmed this for me.

  5. Even if you go to McDonalds and order a big Mac, large fry and a diet coke, you’re still saving 200+ calories over a regular coke. Are you saying that when it comes to reducing calories, cutting back a little at a time isn’t going to help?

  6. How about sucralose (Splenda) in most protein powders? Most natural (sweetened with stevia) ones have too much carbs.

    • Elly, I believe the effect is the same with all sweeteners that are devoid of calories. But protein powders usually have a fairly decent caloric content as well… so it should be fine.

  7. christopher says:

    diet drinks trick your body-hence weight gain.what about Nuvella?i bought some non-packet form recently.its a probiotic product-adding it to coffee or tea it fizzes briefly-anyone know about this-and if its worth it for health benefit.its not saccarin or sucralose.

  8. I hope that research is wrong, Davey. Years ago I stopped using sugar and now I’m only using artificial sweeteners… Nowadays sugar tastes odd – I can’t drink my daily coffe w/o artificial sweeteners; besides, they’re everywhere, and the “good” ones [the ones w/o aspartame, as John Galbo described above is easely to find. But I can tell to everyone: sorry, but I cannot change my usual meals due to one research – I’ll wait for some more information.. A 2nd oppinion 🙂

  9. Hey, I thought this was a great article. Thank you for sharing.