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Think artificial sweetener can help lose weight? Study says it can be counterproductive to weight loss

A new study has said that sweeteners combined with low carb diet can cause the increase in the quantity of calories consumed.
Written by: India TV Lifestyle Desk New Delhi August 02, 2017 18:46 IST
India TV Lifestyle Desk

Do you think that artificial sweetener can help you lose weight? Many people prefer taking artificial sweetener in their coffee instead of sugar, thinking it might help them shed of the extra kilos. But a recent study is a mighty blow to the common misconception about artificial sweeteners. A new study has said that sweeteners combined with low carb diet can cause the increase in the quantity of calories consumed. 

The findings of the study led by researchers from the University of Sydney, revealed that choosing artificial sweeteners to accelerate weight loss can be counterproductive as it might acutely suppress food intake, leading to caloric debt. 

For the study, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, the team offered fruit flies diets with varying amounts of carbohydrate and sweeteners.The results showed flies that consumed artificial sweeteners alongside a low carbohydrate diet showed an immediate increase in food intake. This increase varied according to the dose of sweeteners provided and was not observed in flies consuming unsweetened foods, the researchers said.

Previous research on flies and mice revealed that chronic consumption of artificial sweeteners increase the feelings of hunger due to a complex neuronal network that responds to artificially sweetened food by telling the animal it has not eaten enough energy.

In the new study, "we show that acute ingestion of sucralose in the context of a low-carbohydrate diet causes a pronounced increase in calories consumed", said lead researcher Greg Neely, Associate Professor at the University of Sydney.

"Although originally considered benign, a growing body of research including our own makes clear a connection between artificial sweeteners, hunger and food intake," Neely added.

The researchers also noted that to fully comprehend the effect of artificial sweeteners on overall health, a systematic study of these effects on metabolism is needed. In animal studies, switching from natural sugar to artificial sweeteners can have unanticipated consequences on health. 

(With IANS Inputs)