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    Artificial sweeteners increase calories, weight, fat, decrease calorie compensation & thermogenesis

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Tuesday, July 06, 2010 10:12 am Email this article
    Rats that were first fed artificial sweeteners, then later switched to food sweetened with sugar, did not reduce their calorie intake whereas rats feed food sweetened with sugar from the beginning according to an article by Susan Swithers, PhD from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana as noted by Tracy Hampton in an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Artificial Sweeteners

    Artificial Sweeteners increase calorie intake, increase body weight, and increased body fat, decrease calorie compensation and reduce thermic responses to sweet-tasting foods

    “We found that reducing the correlation between sweet taste and the caloric content of foods using artificial sweeteners in rats resulted in increased caloric intake, increased body weight, and increased [ body fat ], as well as diminished caloric compensation and blunted thermic responses to sweet-tasting diets,” the Purdue researchers noted.

    The decrease in thermogenesis when eating sugar-sweetened foods caused animals to eat more and burn fewer calories.

    “These results suggest that consumption of products containing artificial sweeteners may lead to increased body weight and obesity by interfering with fundamental homeostatic, physiological processes.”


    Swithers S, Davidson T. A role for sweet taste: Calorie predictive relations in energy regulation by rats. Behav Neurosci. 2008 Feb, 122(1):161-73.


    Susan Swithers, PhD
    Department of Psychological Sciences
    Ingestive Behavior Research Center
    Purdue University
    West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


    Hampton T. Sugar substitutes linked to weight gain. JAMA. 2008 May 14, 299(18):2037-8.


    Articles on the same subject can be found here:


    On Nov 16, 2008 at 4:14 am Itsme wrote:

    . . . . .

    If this is the study that I'm thinking of, the researchers weren't just misguided, but I believe they were actually dishonest. I remember reading this and thinking about how they ought to be fired.

    First, I understand that when a study is done, especially in animals, that it's often desirable to use a very large amount of a substance to see if you get any change between the experimental and control conditions. If you're wanting to see if prozac fights depression, you use a large dose to see if you get any antidepressant activity from it. On the other hand, if you're doing a study where you want to see which is better, prozac or paxil, you try to use what has been previously determined to be the most effective dose of each of them. You don't use 5 times the normal dose for prozac, and the normal dose for paxil, then declare prozac to be the better antidepressant.

    Some studies require one type of model and some require the other type of model. I'm sure the researchers are smart people, so when they chose the wrong model for this experiment, it could not have been an accident. It was clearly to "cheat" at the results.

    Again, I'm not sure, but I'm almost certain that this is the study I remember reading a while back.

    Here's what happened. They chose the wrong model.

    There is a well know standard for how much of any given artificial sweetner will equate to how much sugar in taste preference in rats and mice. Let's say that through previous experimentation, researchers determine that a certain variety of rat would prefer equally some water sweetened with 100 g of sugar or 1 gram of aspartame. You could then conclude that this breed of rat found them to be equally sweet, and you would thus say that in that type of rat, aspartame is 100 times sweeter than sugar.

    This has been documented through countless studies, and it's fairly repeatable. Lets say that some studies find that in this breed of rat the multiplier is 80 and other studies might find that it's 120 times sweeter, but the ranges are well known.

    In the first part of the study, the researchers "trained" the rats (or mice) on the artifically sweetened yougart and they ate that for a period of time, then they switched them over to the sugar sweetened stuff. When they switched them over to the sugar sweetend stuff, they ate more of it than they did the artifically sweetened stuff. The researchers conclude that the rats had decoupled the sweet taste from the calories, and thus ate more.

    But wait, your common sense tells you this should not be so. The sugared yougart should give them satiety from the calories in the sugar, as well as the sweet taste, so they should eat less instead of more. Something seems rotten in Denmark. And it is.

    What the researchers did was OVERSWEETEN the artfically sweetened youart. It would have tasted 5 to 8 times sweeter than the yougart with sugar. So at first the rats ate the extra sweet, artifically sweetened yougart. Then later they ate the much less sweet, sugar sweetened yougart. Of course the rats got no satisfaction from the sweetness of the sugar sweetened yogart. It didn't taste sweet because the rats had gotten accustomed to the overly sweet taste of the artifically sweetened yogart.

    The researchers are not stupid. They had to know that they should have used the prozac vs. paxil model for the study, not the prozac vs. control model. Yet they didn't.

    Their study is utter crap. It does show something, but not what they state. What it shows is that if you are a dieter and you use artificial sweetners, you should sweeten something only as sweet as you would sweeten it with sugar, and don't overdo the sweet taste just because the sweetner has no calories.

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