Do non-calorie sweeteners increase appetite?

Replacing sugar with calorie-free sweeteners in foods doesn’t make you hungrier and also helps lower blood sugar levels.

The use of sweeteners instead of sugar in foods can be controversial due to conflicting reports about their potential to increase appetite. Previous studies have been conducted but did not provide conclusive evidence.

However, the researchers say their study, which is the gold standard in scientific research, provides very strong evidence that sweeteners and sweet flavor enhancers do not negatively affect appetite and have a positive effect on reducing sugar intake.

The double-blind, randomized, controlled trial found that consumption of foods containing sweeteners produces a reduction in feelings of appetite and hormonal responses related to appetite, similar to sugary foods, and provides some benefits such as: B. Lowering blood sugar, which may be particularly important for people who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The study was led by the University of Leeds in collaboration with the Rhône-Alpes Human Nutrition Research Centre. This is the latest study from the SWEET consortium, made up of 29 European research, consumer and industry partners, working to develop and review evidence on the long-term benefits and potential risks of switching to sweeteners and sweet flavor enhancers in a public context Health and safety, obesity and sustainability. It was funded by Horizon Europe.

Help control weight and blood sugar

Lead author Catherine Gibbons, Associate Professor at the School of Psychology at the University of Leeds, said: “Reducing sugar consumption has become an important public health goal in the fight against the growing burden of metabolic diseases. associated with obesity, such as type 2 diabetes.

“Simply eliminating sugar from foods without replacing it can have a negative impact on taste or increase sweet cravings, making it difficult to adhere to a low-sugar diet.” “Replacing sugar with sweeteners and sweeteners in foods is one of the most widely used strategies in nutrition and food production to reduce sugar intake and improve the nutritional profile of commercial foods and beverages.”

Lead researcher Graham Finlayson, Professor of Psychobiology at the School of Psychology at the University of Leeds, said: “The use of sweeteners and sweet flavor enhancers has attracted a lot of negative attention, including high-profile publications linking their consumption to an impaired glycemic response Connect.” toxicological DNA damage and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. These reports add to the current confusion about the safety of sweeteners and sweet flavor enhancers among the general public and particularly among people at risk for metabolic diseases.

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“Our study provides crucial evidence for the daily use of sweeteners and sweet flavor enhancers to control body weight and blood sugar.”

The study, the first of its kind, examined the effects of consuming cookies that contained sugar or two types of food sweeteners: the natural sugar substitute stevia or the artificial sweetener Neotame, on 53 overweight or obese adult men and women.

To date, virtually all studies on the effects of sweeteners and sweeteners on appetite and blood sugar have been conducted using beverages as the vehicle. Few studies include overweight or obese volunteers and few have included volunteers of both sexes.

Most studies have compared only a single sweetener, primarily aspartame, with a control, and very few have examined the effect of repeated daily ingestion of a known sweetener or flavor enhancer in the regular diet.

The new study was conducted between 2021 and 2022 at the University of Leeds and the Rhône-Alpes Human Nutrition Research Center (CRNH-RA), France. All participants were between 18 and 60 years old and overweight or obese.

The experiment consisted of three two-week consumption periods during which participants consumed cookies with sugary fruit filling; the natural sugar substitute Stevia or the artificial sweetener Neotame, each separated by a break of 14-21 days. Day 1 and day 14 of the consumption periods took place in the laboratory.

Participants were instructed to come to the laboratory after an overnight fast and a blood sample was taken to determine baseline levels of glucose, insulin and appetite-stimulating hormones. They were also asked to rate their appetite and food preferences.

After eating the cookies, they were asked to rate their satiety for several hours. The levels of glucose and insulin as well as ghrelin, glucagon-like peptide 1 and pancreatic polypeptide, hormones that are related to food intake, were measured.

The results for the two types of sweeteners showed no differences in appetite.


Acute and 2-week effects of neotame, stevia rebaudioside M and sucrose-sweetened cookies on postprandial appetite and endocrine response in adults with overweight/obesity – a randomized crossover study from the SWEET consortium

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