"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Artificial Sweeteners: No Help, Possible Harm?

The research we're .

Photo: © Highwaystarz-Photography/Thinkstock

About a 3rd of Americans say they use artificial sweeteners each day. Popular examples include aspartame (Equivalent, NutraSweet), sucralose (Splenda), and stevia (Truvia, Pure Via). All of those can be found in packets and are also added to soda, yogurt and other foods.

But do these sugar substitutes enable you drop some pounds? New research suggests they don't. In fact, this may increasingly have the alternative effect of zero-calorie foods – and possibly even increase the danger of hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.

Researchers reviewed 37 studies involving a complete of greater than 400,000 people. But there have been only seven “gold standard” randomized controlled trials, comparing individuals who used artificial sweeteners for six to 24 months with a control (placebo). These studies found no clear evidence that fake sugar helped obese people shed kilos.

Other studies have revealed possible links between artificial sweetener consumption and hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. The reasons behind these trends are usually not fully understood. Some researchers consider that sugar substitutes can leave the brain unsatisfied, resulting in unhealthy cravings and overeating. The study was published on July 17, 2017, in Canadian Medical Association Journal.