Speed Reads

Thanks, science!

Science: Artificial sweeteners aren't very good for you

Are you one of the millions of Americans who switched from old-fashioned sugar to Splenda or Equal in a bid to stay healthy? Well, eating all that saccharin may have been for naught: scientists say artificial sweeteners aren't that good for you. According to a study published in Science, they can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels and contribute to obesity and diabetes — you know, the diseases sweeteners are supposed to prevent.

The results are not pretty:

In a series of experiments, researchers found that several of the most widely used types of non-calorie sweeteners in food and drinks — saccharin, sucralose and aspartame — caused mice to experience increased risk of glucose intolerance, a condition that can lead to diabetes.

"We are talking about very dramatic increases," said one of the study's co-authors, Eran Segal, a computational biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

The same scientists also monitored what happened to seven human volunteers who did not typically use artificial sweeteners but were given regular doses of saccharin over the course of a week. Four developed significant glucose intolerance, and the others saw no blood sugar benefits from using artificial sweeteners. [The Washington Post]

This is hardly the last word on the issue. But in addition to loading up on salt and fat, you may want to switch back to regular sugar as well.