Do diet products lead to an increase in fat cells?
Many people today have weight problems. For this reason, those affected often rely on so-called diet products. Researchers have now found that the sweetener contained in these products appears to promote fat formation.
Scientists at George Washington University in Washington found that consuming sweetener diet products promotes fat formation. The doctors published the results of their study at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society (ENDO 2017).
Do we really lose weight with diet products?
Diet products usually do not contain sugar. Consumers hope to lose weight due to the reduced sugar intake. However, just because there is no sugar does not automatically mean that diet products lead to a smaller waistline, the experts say. If you use diet products frequently, you may even increase your chances of gaining weight.
Artificial sweeteners lead to an increase in fat cells
Sweeteners can promote human fat formation. The current study has now examined why this connection exists. Two different studies dealt with this topic. The first study found that when sucralose (a low-calorie sweetener) was added to stem cells from human adipose tissue, these cells tend to be overexpressed by the markers of fat production and inflammation, the scientists explain. The cells also collected more fat. The more sucralose the researchers added, the more fat was built up. So artificial sweeteners directly promote the increase in fat cells in humans, the authors say.
Sweeteners affect fat-producing genes and other receptors
For the second study, researchers analyzed the biopsy samples of eight people's belly fat using low-calorie sweeteners. They then compared this data with people who consumed normal food. In the samples of people using sweeteners, the scientists discovered that the fat-producing genes of those affected and other receptors were affected by changes that occurred. The samples also showed an increase in glucose, the experts add.
Effects of using sweetener
The results are worrying. "When excess glucose enters the cells, a true cascade of biochemical events begins," say the doctors. These can lead to heart disease, blindness, and kidney disease. The effects were particularly worrying in obese people.
Sweeteners promote inflammation in the body
Low-calorie sweeteners promote additional fat formation by bringing more glucose into the cells. This promotes inflammation, which may be particularly harmful to overweight people, the authors add.
Do sweeteners really promote weight gain?
Some older studies have found that replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners could lead to weight loss. However, the newer studies indicate that sweeteners are more likely to promote weight gain, impair blood sugar regulation and change the bacteria, the researchers explain.
It's best to avoid artificial sweeteners
Avoid consuming processed and non-nutritional or artificial foods, these can harm the body, the doctors explain. Better use foods with natural sugar to satisfy your cravings. These contain vitamins, fiber and other useful nutrients. Instead of bothering yourself with the choice between artificially sweetened or sugary drinks, you can simply use water in case of doubt, the experts advise. (as)