Now ANOTHER Reason Not to Use Splenda

If you're like me, you use about 10 artificial sweeteners a day.  I drink lots of iced tea, even in the winter, and I couldn't live without my Splenda.

But now a new study has found that this fake sugar does more than just make drinks palatable.  It modifies how the body uses sugar.  And it can be harmful.

I'm not talking about the cancer scare with saccharine back in the '70s, but in a small study, according to a press release from Washington University in Saint Louis, researchers analyzed Splenda® in 17 severely obese people who do not have diabetes and don’t use artificial sweeteners regularly, and found that "this artificial sweetener is not inert — it does have an effect,” first author M. Yanina Pepino, PhD, research assistant professor of medicine, said in the release. “And we need to do more studies to determine whether this observation means long-term use could be harmful.”

Now, losing weight is hard enough but to take away the one thing that makes it, if not easier, at least not quite so, well, unpalatable, is almost inconceivable. 

"When study participants drank sucralose, their blood sugar peaked at a higher level than when they drank only water before consuming glucose,” Pepino said in the press release. “Insulin levels also rose about 20 percent higher. So the artificial sweetener was related to an enhanced blood insulin and glucose response.”

While she noted that the elevated insulin level didn't necessarily have to be a bad thing, "because it shows the person is able to make enough insulin to deal with spiking glucose levels," she was quoted at newswise.com, but "it also might be bad because when people routinely secrete more insulin, they can become resistant to its effects, a path that leads to type 2 diabetes."

What really bothered me was that, when study participants drank sucralose, their blood sugar peaked at a higher level than when they drank only water before consuming glucose, Pepino said in the newswise.com article. “Insulin levels also rose about 20 percent higher. So the artificial sweetener was related to an enhanced blood insulin and glucose response.”

Clearly, sweeteners do have an effect on the body not previously noted.  I've learned that, while they may not add calories to the diet, they do intensify our desire for more sugar, which can often lead to cravings for foods with real sugar.  And they do affect our metabolisms.

I have a thyroid that isn't very active so my metabolism is affected (negatively) by just about everything.  Even running three to four miles a day, as I do, has limited effect on my weight loss.  So anything that slows it down even more is something I am going to do my best to avoid.

Now I just have to wean my skinny son off them.

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