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Artificial Sweetners

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Artificial Sweetners

Post by hSingh on Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:15 pm

Artificial sweeteners are less likely to lead to weight gain than consumption of foods containing sucrose, according to research from the U.S. published this week.

In the light of rising global rates of obesity, a team of scientists sought to establish whether the use of artificial sweeteners can aid in weight control and fat loss. The researchers supplemented a group of overweight men and women with either sucrose (sugar) or artificial sweetener, mostly in the form of sweetened beverages.

They found that individuals who consumed sucrose increased their energy intake, body weight, fat mass, and blood pressure. Individuals in the artificial sweetener group, however, experienced small but significant decreases in all of these areas. Most of the supplements were in the form of beverages such as soft drinks and flavored fruit juices. The energy content of the sucrose supplements was three times higher than that of the sweetener supplements, and represented approximately 23% of the expected daily energy intake for an average person.

If you’re after effective fat loss, beware of sugar-filled beverages. The energy content is significant but less satisfying that other whole food calories. Consuming sugar-containing beverages, you’ll tend to feel hungry again sooner and consume more calories than you really need. Artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame and Splenda are found in may low calorie drinks, both compounds are shown to be safe and effective for fat loss. Use these sugar-free drinks as a tasty treat minus the empty calories.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2003;76:721-9

-Canuck Singh


Last edited by hSingh on Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:16 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Artificial Sweetners

Post by hSingh on Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:15 pm

Different chemicals produced naturally by the body could be used in the future to stem the dangerous rise in obesity, according to a recently published study.

UK researchers writing in today’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine suggest that supplementing the gut hormone PYY3-36 could reduce people’s appetite and make fat loss easier.

Theses scientists have shown that that obese people have lower than average levels of the hunger-regulating hormone PYY3-36. They report that infusions of PYY3-36 reduced the perceived appetite and calorific consumption of both lean and overweight volunteers by around a third for a period of 24 hours.

PYY3-36 is released from the gut in response to eating, signaling to the brain that a meal has been eaten. Obese people have on average, 30 per cent less PYY3-36 than lean people.

The researchers studied 12 obese and 12 lean volunteers in a double-blind, placebo controlled crossover study. After an overnight fast, subjects were given a 90 minute infusion (placed on an intravenous drip) of either PYY3-36 or placebo (a saline solution). Two hours after the end of the infusion, the volunteers were offered an unlimited buffet meal.

All 24 volunteers ate less on the day when they received a PYY3-36 infusion compared with the placebo day. Overall PYY3-36 reduced calorific intake by a third in both the lean and obese subjects. Further research is under way to determine whether we can change people's diet to increase the release of this hormone.
NEJM, vol 349:941-948, 2003.

- Canuck Singh

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Re: Artificial Sweetners

Post by hSingh on Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:34 pm

Some artificial sweeteners do contain calories and others do not. Some evoke a blood insulin response and others do not. This last fact is important to those with diabetes. I'll run through a few of them.

Aspartame is 180 times sweeter than sugar and dissolves in liquid. It is marketed as Equal for domestic use and the trade name Nutrasweet in a host of commercially prepared foods and drinks. It was discovered by chance by a scientist researching ulcer drugs. It breaks down under high heat or during lengthy cooking and is therefore only suitable for cooking when used at the end of the process. In some instances, other sweeteners should be used. It has a very negligible amount of calories per serving and doesn't create a surge in blood sugar or insulin levels.

Acesulfame-K (trade name Sunett) has been available for the past 15 years. It is 200 times sweeter than sugar. It is not a table sweetener but is used in many "sugar free products" such as fruit drinks, dairy foods and sodas. It is not metabolized in the body and therefore does not evoke an insulin response nor does it contribute to energy intake.

Sorbitol is rather unique as it is manufactured commercially from glucose obtained from natural sources such as fruits and while it has the same calorie content as regular sugar, it is absorbed into the bloodstream much slower. It therefore does not cause major increases in blood sugar. So it may have some benefit to diabetics but not dieters. Also more than 40gm/day seems to produce a laxative effect.

Saccharin was discovered in 1879 and has been used commercially since the early 1900's. Maybe this is a testimony to its safety. It is 300 times sweeter than sugar however to most people it has a bitter after taste. It should also be added as late as possible to the cooking process to limit the possibility of a bitter after taste. Like aspartame its calorie contribution in regular serves is extremely minimal.

Sucralose is a relatively new artificial sweetener and appears to be the most viable, commercially at least. It is 600 times sweeter than sugar (blah!) This means only minimal amounts are used. It is actually made from sugar that has undergone a chemical process in which chlorine is added to the molecule. The is a bond that survives gastric hydrolysis and therefore sucralose is not digested by the body. Also it does not have any effect on blood sugar levels or add any energy to the diet. It is marketed mainly as SplendaÔ. This is a combination of sucralose and maltodextrin. Maltodextrin will cause a rise in blood sugar levels however the amount in Splenda is so small it is suitable for all people, even diabetics. It contains only 2 calories per teaspoon and SplendaÔ is one of few artificial sweeteners that is heat stable so it can be used in cooking and has no bitter after taste.

-Canuck Singh

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Re: Artificial Sweetners

Post by hSingh on Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:35 pm

Is it safe to use artificial sweeteners during pregnancy?

Artificial sweeteners are among the most widely researched ingredients found in food products. Although there have been several scares about the safety of some sweeteners, overall the research suggests that they are safe for most pregnant women to use.

Artificial sweeteners are found in many low-calorie ("diet") ready meals, snacks and drinks, or added to replace sugar in hot drinks, such as tea and coffee. Their use in food products is strictly controlled in the UK (FSA n.d.), where five are licensed for use - aspartame (E951) (which is sold under the more familiar brand name NutraSweet), saccharin (E954), acesulfame potassium (acesulfame K or E950), cyclamate and sucralose.

The Food Standard's Agency (FSA) sets an acceptable daily intake (ADI) for artificial sweeteners. These ADIs are quite high. For example, the ADI for aspartame is 2,800 milligrams. This is equivalent to about 14 cans of diet drink a day!

However, aspartame should be avoided by people who have the rare inherited disorder phenylketonuria (PKU) or high levels of phenylalanine in their blood (a condition called hyperphenylalanine). This is because their bodies are unable to break down phenylalanine, an amino acid contained in aspartame. A build-up of phenylalanine could harm an unborn baby. Fortunately, thanks to mandatory labelling of products containing aspartame in the UK, it is relatively easy for pregnant women and others with PKU or hyperphenylalanine to avoid it.

The main health issue for pregnant women who use artificial sweeteners is that they may be missing out on more nutritious foods and drinks. A woman who drinks a lot of diet cola, for instance, may not be getting enough water, milk or juice, which are all beneficial to her developing baby.

Source - http://www.babycenter.ca


-Canuck Singh

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