Maintaining a healthy lifestyle has become a point of focus particularly in recent years, due to the uprising epidemic in obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This has led to an increase in research and re-assessment of medical procedures and consultation to help eradicate or decrease incidences of these diseases. The introduction of non-caloric artificial sweeteners has been used to help control blood glucose levels in people at risk of developing glucose intolerance and insulin resistance.
These artificial sweeteners have been considered a huge step forward in the fight against the obesity pandemic. Their uses span from assisting weight management to being an alternative to sugar for diabetics. As such, NAS have been hailed as a breakthrough for nutritional control and reduction of many lifestyle diseases.
However, with further research on the effects of artificial sweeteners on health benefits, results were contradictory on whether or not they actually did what they were designed to do. Various papers have shown that artificial sweeteners may, in fact, have no effect on weight management or diabetic control. Some even show, as in this paper, that artificial sweeteners may be a contributor to the problem.
While this may not be a discovery of epic proportions yet within general society, it is significant, particularly to scientists, health professionals, and patients suffering from CVD, diabetes or obesity. As stated by the researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science, further studies must be done before scientists can begin to advise people about NAS. However, this is a flagship discovery in the right direction for understanding how artificial sweeteners are actually affecting our health. And not only does it provide us with a new understanding of the effects of NAS on our bodies, but also a new understanding of the effects of NAS on our microbiota.