Montana Public Radio

Do Artificial Sweeteners Induce Glucose Intolerance?

Mar 19, 2018

Jon and Greg discuss a November 2014 online column by Ari LeVaux, "Irony Alert: Artificial Sweeteners Make You Fat." LeVaux's piece examines recent findings, published in Nature, that mice who were fed artificial sweeteners in their water developed glucose intolerance.

LeVaux writes: "The Israel-based research team presented evidence that artificial sweeteners cause this outcome by disrupting the balance of microbes that live in the body’s gut." Greg comments: "This tends to suggest that if you eat too many artificial sweeteners OR too much sugar, you'll develop glucose intolerance. But this study was undertaken on lab mice; its findings haven't been replicated reliably in humans."

LeVaux's article continues: "The authors of the study are quick to point out that their results should not be taken as a call for anyone to change their diet, but rather as a signal that more studies along these lines are warranted. To this end, the National Institute of Health is conducting a large, long-term study on what happens when healthy, non-artificial sweetener-using subjects begin consuming sucralose (a.k.a. Splenda)."

(Broadcast: "The Food Guys," 1/11/15 and 3/11/18. Listen weekly on the radio at 11:50 a.m. Sundays, or via podcast.)