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Debate continues on impact of artificial sweeteners
Date:12/18/2013

New research from the University of Adelaide has added to the debate about how our bodies respond to artificial sweeteners and whether they are good, bad or have no effect on us.

In a study published in this month's Diabetes Care journal, researchers in the University's School of Medicine and the Nerve-Gut Laboratory have found that artificially sweetened drinks produced no different response in the healthy human gut to a glass of water.

The findings, by PhD student Dr Tongzhi Wu, are contrary to some other studies in humans and in laboratory-based research.

"This is a controversial area because there's a lot of conflicting research into artificial sweeteners," says senior author Associate Professor Chris Rayner, from the University of Adelaide's School of Medicine and Consultant Gastroenterologist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

"The scientific debate centers on whether artificial sweeteners have a negative impact on our bodies, such as leading to the storage of fat. There are also questions about whether they have a beneficial impact, such as producing responses that signal fullness to the brain, or if they are inert and produce no impact.

"In our most recent study involving healthy men, we found that the gut's response to artificially sweetened drinks was neutral it was no different to drinking a glass of water.

"The fact is, the human studies have been unclear as to whether artificial sweeteners have a positive or negative effect, and this is why we're keen to better understand what's happening in our bodies," Associate Professor Rayner says.

Co-author Dr Richard Young, Senior Postdoct
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Contact: Chris Rayner
chris.rayner@adelaide.edu.au
61-882-222-916
University of Adelaide
Source:Eurekalert

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