Artificial Sweeteners

Hi all, As some of you will know I had a Cardioversion on a Friday 25th July. I was restored back to a NSR. By the Sunday I had detected an extra beat in my pulse. By Tuesday I was back in AF. After the Cardioversion my Bisoprolol tablets were changed to Sotolol. Two weeks ago I stopped having a artificial sweetener in my cup of tea. I had read somewhere ( don't know where ) that they can sometimes affect the heart rhythm. This Saturday I noticed that my heart is back into a NSR which I am very pleased about to say the least. But what has caused it to do this ?. It has never knowingly done it in the past 14 years of AF on its own. Is it the Sotolol starting to work its magic or is it not using Artificial Sweeteners ?. Any advice please.

19 Replies

  • Artificial sweeteners will start my PAF off without doubt. Have proved it time and time again when I've unwittingly eaten something with it in.

    I thought that under the new NICE guidelines Sotolol weren't to be prescribed for AF anymore. Perhaps someone else will verify this.


  • Aspartame which is the usual artificial sweetener is evil stuff and can cause everything from rhythm problems to mood changes. I mentioned this a while back and some people looked it up and were horrified by what the found. I recall a group action in USA many years ago but still it appears in stuff.

    And yes Jean Sotalol is not longer recommended for AF under latest NICE guidelines.


  • Just read the post about sweetners can you tell me what people use instead.

  • Thanks for your replys. Speaking for myself I am managing without anything. I am slowly getting used to it and tea & coffee don't taste so bad now.

  • Stevia as far as I know is fine but only speaking for myself.

  • I use saccharin which is very basic stuff and I have no problems with it.

  • I find there is no real substitute. And it is not just in the sweetener you put in your tea and coffee but in most processed foods too. I try to avoid it at all costs. Not easy though.

  • I avoid artificial sweeteners too - especially Aspartame and have substituted very small amounts of sugar and honey instead - or don't sweeten at all. I spend ages in the supermarket reading ingredients lists to avoid sweeteners!

    Incidentally, I suspect I may have a link between raised blood sugar and arrhythmias - so I keep the sugars to a minimum, too.

  • Put it this way, I haven't had an AF episode since I gave up Diet Coke, which I loved and used to drink all day long. That has aspartame in it. I'm now drinking a diet drink with sucralose in it (Splenda) and haven't had any problems on that. Interesting thought about raised blood sugars and arrhythmia, I was thinking the same thing. I wish I didn't have a sweet tooth!


  • Thanks

  • Just on the Sotalol. The NICE guidelines now state that Sotalol should not be used as a first line treatment. It does not say that Sotalol should not be used in the treatment of PAF. I was switched from Bisoprolol to Sotalol recently and am now having fewer episodes which are less symptomatic and with fewer side effects. It did take a couple of weeks for the improvement to become apparent so it may well be that rather than the sweeteners. Having said that tea is better without sweeteners once you get used to it, so why not give them up anyway.


  • I gave up tea because of the Caffine. Switched to green tea. But that has cafine in it. So now I drink decaf green tea. I occasionally have a decaf cappuccino that's a treat. Have no problems now. I don't eat sweets or cakes anymore. stopped smoking 9 months ago. I'm actually healthy now feel great on. I'm on Meds for AF that seems to have it under control. I also Nutra Bullet fruit & vegetable drinks that's helped with diet. AF isn't a problem now I've changed my total Diet. I hope it lasts.

  • I need that little half spoon of BROWN sugar in coffee, but weaned of it completely in tea. also try and avoid all sugar in food, although thats not as easy as it sounds. Sweeteners should be banned.

  • Hello I have not contributed to the forum yet. I have been in persistent AF since March like you had a cardioversion in July which lasted 4 days. I am still waiting again to see a cardiologist, but in the meantime decided to improve my diet, banning bread and trying to eliminate sugar. No processed foods etc so far I have lost weight and am feeling a lot better although I am still in AF, my heart rate is under better control it seems to be a way forward. There may be a link between the glucose sugar rush and AF.

  • I haven't drunk Diet Coke (or Bacardi) since diagnosis, and today bought caffeine free Diet Coke. I've just looked at the ingredients and, lo and behold...aspartame! Back to the 'Council pop' for me!

  • Thanks for all your replies. It has certainly given me something to think about. I'm afraid my slip back into NSR only lasted three days. I am now back in AF. So I am a bit confused as to what caused this to happen. I am going to attempt to cut out all this artificial stuff where I can. It seems the products that you would think are good for you, like " No Added Sugar " or " Low Fat " all have these artificial sweeteners in them. I think my trips to the supermarket is going to take a lot longer in future !

  • I think the artificial sweeteners, sucrose and fructose when separate, and even too much of some high glycemic fruits can cause AF for some people. Stevia, if the real thing, may be ok but sometimes it has been broken into its component parts and is still called stevia and then this may not be ok. Whole sugar could be ok as well if you do not eat a lot of it. I can eat maple syrup without a problem. Maple syrup has beneficial health benefits. Advanced Orthomolecular Research in Canada makes Ortho-Glucose, a product that is supposed to balance blood sugar. I just got some to try. Maybe other companies make something similar. This company also makes other stuff that could be of use. They have a toll free number to get questions answered and everything in the product is on the label unlike some products. I have no vested interest in this company and only mention it to help perhaps. I too read labels fastidiously including supplement and drug labels since some of these products contain artificial sweeteners. And I have found you need to continue to read the labels, because the manufacturers change the ingredients. I did buy a bread containing sugar that was ok which got changed from sugar to fructose and sucrose and this was not ok for me. Someone suggested that I should test my sugar to see if it varies when I eat sweet things and if it does and AF occurs, then this may be proof that sweets may be the cause. I have not done this yet but plan to do so. When I was first diagnosed with AF, the ER doctor said my sugar was high and the AF stopped when the sugar went back to normal. I am not diabetic. Yet, the EP doctor did not take any of this into account and I did not know enough at that time to ask about this. I don't have AF if I avoid triggers such as sweets and nitrites and I am not on any medication since some medication for AF has been proven to cause it in some instances which happened to me. I am much better off meds. Interesting.

  • One more note. When I incur a trigger, the AF does not start right away. It usually starts during the night, 4 to 8 hours later, when my heart rate slows into the 40's. This makes it harder to figure out what caused it and if you don't pay attention to what you have been doing, you may not realize it could have been a trigger.

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