Artificial sweeteners lead to an increased calorie intake in animals
There have been discussions about the topic for years: sugar or sweetener. In an experiment on animals, researchers have now found that artificial sweeteners can increase appetite. In the experiment, the discrepancy between the sweet taste and fewer calories made the animals more hungry and consumed more calories.
Scientists at Sydney University have now found that mice and fruit flies react to artificial sweeteners with more hunger. The animals tried to balance the imbalance of sweetness and energy by increasing their calorie intake. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Cell Metabolism".
Researchers are studying the effects of artificial sweeteners on mice and insects
In the new study, the Australian experts found that signals related to appetite and pleasure in the brain of insects and rodents limit what and how much the animals eat. The researchers fed some of the test animals with food that contained normal sugar, while the other animals received sugar substitutes.
Sweetness and energy should be in balance
In their research, the scientists observed that when sweetness and energy were out of balance for a long time, the animals' brains signaled an increase in the number of calories consumed. So the animals started eating more and gaining weight.
Chronic sweetener consumption increases the intensity of nutritional sugar
When the experts investigated why the animals ate more food, even though they actually consumed enough calories, it was found that chronic consumption of artificial sweeteners actually increases the intensity of the real nutritional sugar. This process then increases the animal's motivation to eat even more, says Professor Greg Neely.
Sugar or sweetener?
Opinions on sugar and sweeteners are usually far apart. Supporters of artificial sweeteners, for example, argue that they are better for our teeth and better for our weight. However, opponents of sweeteners say that sweeteners change the sense of taste and in no way stop the desire for sugar.
The expected stevia boom failed to materialize
Stevia was approved in Europe some time ago. The low-calorie sweetener, which is harmless to the teeth, was supposed to revolutionize nutrition. It sounded like a dream to eat sweets and still eat healthy. The sweetener stevia is obtained from a plant and was already considered the sweetener of the future. But the great stevia miracle never came. Nevertheless, the sweetener should not be completely written off.
Further studies with human subjects are urgently needed
However, the researchers say that further studies are urgently needed to ensure that the billions of people who consume sugar substitutes regularly do not have the same response as the experimental animals. The diets eaten by the rodents were kept simple, so it is questionable whether the results would be similar for highly complex human nutrition. (as)