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    Rats given saccharin ate more calories, gained more weight and gained more body fat

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Tuesday, February 26, 2008 7:59 am Email this article
    "[R]ats given yogurt sweetened with zero-calorie saccharin later consumed more calories, gained more weight, put on more body fat, and didn't make up for it by cutting back later," noted a summary of a study by researchers at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana USA. Weight Gain and Fat Gain

    Saccharin leads to greater weight gain and fat gain

    “The data clearly indicate that consuming a food sweetened with no-calorie saccharin can lead to greater body-weight gain and [body fat] than would consuming the same food sweetened with a higher-calorie sugar,” the authors wrote.


    Other Sweeteners

    Other sweeteners expected to act the same

    The authors of the study believe that the same is probably true for other non-calorie sweeteners as well such as Nutrasweet (aspartame), Splenda (sucralose) and acesulfame K.


    Previous Study Showed Weight Gain In Those Consuming the Most Saccharin

    Previous study shows people consuming the most saccharin gained 3 lbs

    A previous study found that people who consumed the most saccharin gained an average of 3.1 pounds over four years.


    Previous Study Showed Rats Fed High Saccharin Intake Weighed Less

    Previous study shows people consuming the most saccharin gained 3 lbs

    However, a 1996 study done on rats found that saccharin increased lipolysis—the release of fat from fat cells—and rats fed a diet containing either one percent or 2.5 percent of their diet as saccharin weighed slightly less than control animals fed a normal diet, and those given a diet containing 5 percent of their diet as saccharin weighed only half as much as the control rats.

    Humans eat roughly two pounds of food per day or one kilogram which is 1,000 grams or 1,000,000 milligrams.

    A diet containing one percent saccharin would be 10 grams per day or 10,000 mg.

    A diet containing 2.5 percent saccharin would be 25 grams per day or 25,000 mg.

    A diet containing 5 percent saccharin would be 50 grams per day or 50,000 mg.

    In the previous study, the one-third of people who consumed the most saccharin consumed an average of 28 grams of saccharin per day.

    It would be interesting to know if those consuming the most saccharin—possibly in the neighborhood of 50 grams per day which would be equivalent to the rats given a diet containing 5 percent saccharin—weighed less than others.


    Swithers SE, Davidson TL. A role for sweet taste: calorie predictive relations in energy regulation by rats. Behav Neurosci. 2008 Jan, 122(1):877-86.


    Susan Swithers, PhD
    Purdue University
    West Lafayette, IN USA
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    (765) 494-6279

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