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    Sugar is more potent than artificial sweeteners at turning off brain’s desire for sweetness

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Tuesday, July 06, 2010 10:46 am Email this article
    "Another recent study, in humans [ by Frank et al, 2008 ], revealed that sugar is more potent than low-calorie sweeteners in stimulating brain areas related to expectation and satisfaction, thereby turning off the desire for more sweetness," notes noted Tracy Hampton in an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

    "We thought that sugar and artificial sweeteners, which both activate sweet receptors in the tongue, would both activate the same pathways in the brain," said principal investigator Walter Kaye, MD, of the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Psychiatry, Hampton quotes in her article. "They turned out to not be the same," [ Dr. Kaye ] added.

    Brain Knows Sugar vs Artificial Sweetener

    The brain distinguishes between sugar and artificial sweeteners even though conscious mind does not

    “Thus, brain response distinguishes the caloric from the non-caloric sweetener, although the conscious mind could not,” Dr. Kaye wrote, as quoted in Hampton’s article.

    “This could have important implications on how effective artificial sweeteners are in their ability to substitute sugar intake,” Dr. Kaye added.


    Sucralose Does Not Provide Satiety

    Sucralose does not cause satiety

    “The investigators propose that because sucralose [ which was compared to sugar ( sucrose ) used in Dr. Kaye’s study ] does not provide calories that act as a natural feedback mechanism that results in satiety, other means—such as additional eating—will likely be needed to provide satiety,” Horton noted in her article.


    Frank G, Oberndorfer T, Simmons A, Paulus M, Fudge J, Yang T, Kaye W. Sucrose activates human taste pathways differently from artificial sweetener. Neuroimage. 2008 Feb 15, 39(4):1559-69.


    Walter H. Kaye, MD
    University of Pittsburgh
    Department of Psychiatry
    Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic
    3811 O’Hara St.
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
    +1 412 647 9740 fax


    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 3:34 am Itsme wrote:

    . . . . .

    Another example of a stupid soft-drink study.

    Any drinker of diet soft drinks could have told them this without the need to do a study.

    Of course they are not as satisfying. And of course people will have a drive to take in some of the calories that they missed out on.

    There is a fundmental question that a study like this should answer, and if it doesn't answer it, it's just a waste of time and money and trees.

    Given that a diet soft drink will not be as satisfying as a sugared soft drink, and given that the dieter will find another way to ingest at least some of the missing calories, the real question is, will the dieter consume just as many calories to make up for the lack of satisfaction in the diet soft drink, will the dieter end up drinking more calories because the sweetness in the diet drink triggers additional hunger, or will the dieter end up drinking fewer calories than if he had had a regular soft-drink?

    That's the only worthwhile question they can answer. All the rest of these studies are just a waste.

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