A new study has found that the sweetener sucralose is capable of changing how the body metabolizes sugar by elevating insulin levels which can cause Type 2 diabetes.
“Our results indicate that this artificial sweetener is not inert — it does have an effect,” said M. Yanina Pepino, lead author and research assistant professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine. “And we need to do more studies to determine whether this observation means long-term use could be harmful.
In this study, researchers assessed Splenda’s effect in 17 severely obese, but non-diabetic individuals who do not normally use artificial sweeteners. Because of their weight, these individuals are more likely to be encouraged to use artificial sweeteners because they have zero calories. The results of the study showed that insulin levels were 20% greater among those who used artificial sweeteners and that Splenda is associated with boosting blood insulin and glucose response. This pattern could cause insulin-resistance that could lead to Type 2 diabetes.
“What these all mean for daily life scenarios is still unknown, but our findings are stressing the need for more studies,” she said. “Whether these acute effects of sucralose will influence how our bodies handle sugar in the long term is something we need to know.”