Dr Oz: Link Between Artificial Sweeteners & Diabetes + Alternatives

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Dr Oz: New Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners & Diabetes

Dr. Oz shared that there’s a new study linking artificial sweeteners to a deadly disease: Diabetes.

Aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin are better known by their trademark blue, yellow, and pink packets are now being talked about once again after more studies were conducted trying to find a link between the artificial sweeteners and weight gain. Landmark research has already gone viral that says three of America’s most popular artificial sweeteners, Sweet’N Low, Equal, and Splenda, also contribute to diabetes, which is a disease the sweeteners were designed to help you avoid.

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Dr Oz: Link Between Artificial Sweeteners & Diabetes + Alternatives

Dr. Oz sat down with Dr. Andrew Weil to talk about the link between artificial sweeteners and diabetes. (PeterG / Shutterstock.com)

The study was the first of its kind and was conducted on lab mice to examine how the sweeteners affected bacteria sitting in your gut. They found that they can trigger changes in the bacteria that increase glucose intolerance  and raise blood sugar, the underlying cause of bacteria.

The researchers made it clear that their findings are preliminary and more research needs to be done, but already doctors are wondering if the study is more proof that zero-calorie sweeteners could be hazardous to your health.

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Dr Oz: Dangers Of Artificial Sweeteners

Dr. Oz welcomed to his show Dr. Andrew Weil, the founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, who said that artificial sweeteners don’t work and the people who consume them seem to have the worst relationships with food.

Some facts about artificial sweeteners is that they encourage sugar dependence, they do not reduce your weight, and over 180 million people use them.

Dr. Weil said the study is the first time that a mechanism has been used to show that artificial sweeteners actually increase the problems that they’re meant to solve. Dr. Weil said for some people, the way artificial sweeteners react to their gut floor could cause an increased insulin resistance as well as an increase of blood sugar. Dr. Oz said you could never really say that issues like diabetes are caused by artificial sweeteners, but people who use them do tend to have more issues.

Dr Oz: Artificial Sweeteners Warning

Dr. Weil reiterated that now there is a mechanism that may explain it. He said in addition to the interaction with gut floor, there’s also another concern which is how they change brain function to cause cravings. He said that if the brain gets a message that sweet calories are coming, and then they don’t, it sets off patterns that lead to worse cravings in the future for sweets and carbohydrates. He said that the people who consume diet soda, for example, are the ones that get into the worst relationships with food.

The American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association have said that sensible use of artificial sweeteners can be helpful. Dr. Weil said they mean well but he believes they’re misinformed and that those recommendations may be worsening the problem that they’re trying to solve. Dr. Weil said he believes they’ll change their minds in light of the new research.

Dr Oz: Artifical Sweeteners Alternatives

Dr. Weil said you should always read labels carefully because artificial sweeteners are in a lot of things like jams, jellies, and fruit preparations. So what’s a natural alternative to artificial sweeteners? Dr. Weil said you’re better off eating small amounts of real sugars like maple syrup or rice bran syrup in moderation.

Dr. Weil explained that agave actually has the highest fructose content of any sweetener out there, about 85%, and you want to get as little fructose as possible. Table sugar is about 50% fructose and maple syrup is about 35% fructose.

Dr. Oz said the bottom line is that you should think twice before tearing open another packet of sweetener.

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