A new study has shown that some of the sweeteners used in diet drinks, including the much-discussed about aspartame, may actually prevent instead of help weight loss.
The study was published earlier this week in the Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism journal. The research was conducted by a team from the Massachusetts General Hospital led by Dr. Richard Hodin.
Artificial sweeteners the likes of aspartame have long since been used and promoted as being more useful in weight loss techniques.
As the products were advertised as being beneficial for both your health and for trying to lose weight, several previous studies have already contested these claims.
The epidemiological or clinical studies, including the latest Mass study, seem to suggest that the sweeteners may actually have an opposite effect.
Instead of helping or even lacking an effect, these products may actually advantage weight gain.
The current study found that the sweetener aspartame may inhibit and block IAP. IAP or the intestinal alkaline phosphatase is an enzyme produced at the gut-level which is believed to help prevent obesity.
The results of the study were gathered after the team of researchers observed the effects of aspartame on four groups of mice.
Over a period of eighteen weeks, the mice groups were subjected to the sweetener so as to determine its effects on the IAP.
The four groups were divided into two categories as one set received a normal diet and the other a high in fats one. Both the normal and high-fat diet groups were further split into two pairs.
In each category, one of the pair groups was fed with plain, normal water whilst the other received an aspartame-enhanced water.
Following observations, it was determined that the aspartame drinking pairs consumed the equivalent of more than three cans of diet soda.
The exact value was of three and a half cans per day, and it concerned both the normal and high-fat diet mice groups.
Also, the aspartame-consuming mice were also determined to have developed other health problems. As such, they presented evidence of a possible glucose intolerance.
The possible glucose intolerance was hinted at by both their higher blood pressure and the elevated levels of blood sugar.
According to the researchers, the sweetener water groups presented higher levels of TNF-alpha. This is an inflammatory protein which suggested the presence of a metabolic syndrome. This syndrome is associated with the systematic inflammation presented by the mice.
Dr. Hodin, the study’s lead, does point out that other factors may have contributed to these increased levels.
However, he also states that the aspartame does, quite clearly, block and inhibit the IAP and its activity, leaving aside all other possible effects.
This is just the latest study to show that sweeteners do no work as they should, a fact which has been widely attested and contested.
It may also show that products like aspartame, instead of boosting weight loss may actually determine additional kilograms. This may be determined by the increase in calorie consumption which would make one hungrier.
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