Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Sugar in the Morning

I've never really been a big fan of the whole artificial sweetner thing. And now it seems as if replacing the sugar in your diet can be a bad thing.

A study by Purdue University researchers that came out in February links artificial sweetners to weight gain.

Why would a sugar substitute backfire? Swithers and Davidson wrote that sweet foods provide a “salient orosensory stimulus” that strongly predicts someone is about to take in a lot of calories. Ingestive and digestive reflexes gear up for that intake but when false sweetness isn’t followed by lots of calories, the system gets confused. Thus, people may eat more or expend less energy than they otherwise would.

Now to be fair this research was done on rats, and not humans but as Cliff Mintz of BioJobBlog notes

Although this study was conducted in rats, its findings are consistent with the observations that increased use of artificial sweeteners can contribute to human weight gain.

As always more study is going to be needed on this and in particular human studies, so time will tell.

Thanks to Science to Life for the hot tip