Consuming artificial sweeteners may lead to weight gain and heart disease

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In Canada, a new study has found that artificial sweeteners may be associated with long-term weight gain and increased risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Emerging data indicate that artificial, or non-nutritive, sweeteners may have negative effects on metabolism, gut bacteria and appetite.

“Despite the fact that millions of individuals routinely consume artificial sweeteners, relatively few patients have been included in clinical trials of these products,” said author Dr. Ryan Zarychanski, Assistant Professor, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba. “We found that data from clinical trials do not clearly support the intended benefits of artificial sweeteners for weight management.”

A systematic review of 37 studies that followed over 400,000 people for an average of 10 years showed a link between consumption of artificial sweeteners and a relatively higher risk of weight gain and obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and other health issues.