Artificial Sweeteners and Diabetes?

Artificial Sweeteners and Diabetes?

Given the number of people here who feel that gut bacteria are a critical element of their health, this story might be interesting.

Please take particular note that this is still very speculative, early-stage research - next week the reverse might be claimed in another paper!

Artificial sweeteners may promote diabetes, claim scientists

Controversial research suggests artificial sweeteners may raise blood sugar levels by promoting growth of certain gut bacteria


24 Replies

  • If it's replicated in further research it would be a very sad irony, Rod.

  • This is the one we need... (gut bacteria) I have yet to see it in any pre/pro biotics (which are cultivated from a healthy individual's stool sample - we knew that already...) still yuk. but needs must

  • Just to throw in my tuppenny worth, and no I am in no way affiliated with the product but found the information interesting.

    Please note that the links supplied are only the customers own view on them

    My probiotic of choice is Prescript Assist as I consistently get great results with it with my clients. It’s clinically tested and has 29 different strains of microflora. Click here to check out Prescript Assist on Amazon (affiliate link).

    Dozens of studies using probiotic therapy show benefits in treating IBS, constipation, diarrhea, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and many other digestive issues.

    However, few studies have ever been done with actual fermented foods. Why?

    Because you can’t patent sauerkraut. Or kimchi. Or any food for that matter.

    According to Dr. Mercola on his website, one serving of fermented vegetables has 100 times more beneficial bacteria than an entire bottle of a high potency probiotic product!

    Reading the miracle stories below as a skeptic, I became curious as to how Prescript-Assist was actually achieving such amazing results. The answer is truly astounding. As the latest publication from the Human Microbiome Project has shown, Bacteroides is by far the most predominant genus of bacteria in the human GI tract. It's estimated that out of the hundreds of strains in the GI tract, Bacteroides account for a minimum of 20%. A meta-survey of hundreds of people across all ethnicities again showed that Bacteroides was the predominant genus in the gut. And Prescript-Assist is the ONLY, I repeat, the ONLY probiotic on the market that contains Bacteroides bacteria. Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are useless unless you're interested in making cheese. They only show up in relatively minor numbers in the GI tract. So this is why Prescript-Assist is changing people's lives. It's providing the actual dominant bacteria in the GI tract. The science is just now catching up, and eventually products will be available that are specifically designed based on the native bacterial population make-up of the GI tract, but right now Prescript-Assist is the best option out there. These latest studies just came out in 2012 so this is very cutting-edge science. But it is very exciting. By providing the actual dominant bacterial genus of the healthy GI tract, astonishing results can be achieved with Prescript-Assist. The science supports it!

  • Just typed my recommended for Prescript Assist before reading the above comment. Sorry to overlap.

  • Soil Probiotics by Prescript Assist (available on Amazon) are the closest we can get without having a faecal transplant .... as recommended by Dr Natasha Campbell McBride in the GAPS book. Following GAPS has improved my life no end, and I gradually built up the probiotics I was taking to tolerance level (described fully in the book) until I was on 8 x Bio Kult and 2 x Soil Probiotics and I am continuing that dose for 6 months as advised in the book. My gut is probably in the best condition it has ever been, even from birth when I had a difficult start. Taking 1 or 2 probiotics a day or eating a probiotic yoghurt is just a waste of time and money. Most of us with major problems need a major remedy. Dr Natasha says that if a probiotic is to do you any good, you must expect to have a bad reaction when you first take one. I had never had a bad reaction to any probiotic (and I have taken various brands for 20+ years) until I took my first Bio Kult which contains many different strains. When the reaction wore off, I felt brilliant. Then I had to increase it again ... felt rubbish again, but knew it would go, and that it was a means to an end. You continue increasing in stages until you no longer get a reaction. You can FEEL that they are working. I highly recommend because the gut is the source of most health problems.

  • Oh and does anyone know if old lickable stamps had sweetener on them, as i spent a few evenings licking and sticking them on envelopes on mass, it certainly tasted like artificial sweetener, put me off anything with it in. :-p

  • It might depend on how old you mean by "old", and this assumes you are talking about UK postage stamps (not Green Shield!). But might be of interest:

    What is the glue on the back of postage stamps and envelopes made from?

    THE GUM on British stamps is composed of polyvinyl alcohol and dextrin. The dextrin is derived from starch (e.g. potato) and the vinyl alcohol is a synthetic derived from petroleum. The gum used on ready-stamped stationery items is a blend of polyvinyl acetate and dextrin with the exception of aerogrammes, where the gum is a blend of polyvinyl acetate and polyvinyl alcohol. Slimmers may be interested to know that a single standard postage stamp contains 5.9 calories and Special or Commemorative stamps 14.5 calories. To avoid offending any religious groups or vegetarians, no animal products are involved.

    Jane Ormrod, Philatelic Marketing Manager, Royal Mail, London EC1.

    It might have been the dextrin in Teva levothyroxine that caused the product to have its licence withdrawn.


  • Thanks Rod, very interesting. This article got me thinking about levo as it does taste too sweet, but glad to say it doesn't contain aspartame but lactose and sucrose.

    I did turn down some vitamin d tablets that contained aspartame in favour of the liquid, seems as if its in an awful lot of unsuspecting foods and suppliments.

    If my memory serves me right there was an article I read a long time ago about airline pilots being banned from taking the stuff, due to it affecting them with headaches and seizures at height .

  • Wockhardt is disgustingly sweet.

    I have never seen anything about airline pilots and aspartame! Will have to look it up. :-)

  • I unearthed this but I think the jurys still out,

    Aspartame Affecting Airline Pilots

    Some of the more interesting developments in 1989 surfaced in the Palm Beach Post on October 14th, where an article by Dr. H.J. Robert described several recent aircraft accidents involving confusion and aberrant pilot behavior caused by ingestion of products containing aspartame.[13] Soft drink makers were notified of this problem in 1991. It is interesting to note that after Samuel Skinner left Sidney & Austin, Searle's law firm, he was appointed Secretary of Transportation. Hence, he was in charge of the FAA, just in time to head off complaints from pilots affected by aspartame. His wife was employed by Sidney & Austin. Later as George Bush's Chief of Staff in 1991, during the Gulf War, he was in a position to head off all inquiries relative to aspartame, no matter where they were directed - to the FDA, FAA or Department of Defense. This constitutes criminal negligence and racketeering. George Bush, of course, was an ex-director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

    Drinks - Contributors To GWI And Other Illnesses

    ACSN's special Pilot's Hotline has logged over 800 pilot-related calls. Pilots are having grand mal seizures in the cockpits of commercial airline flights, and others are crashing the flight simulator at training facilities while in seizure. Dozens have lost their flying status because of Aspartame. Seizures, loss of vision, vertigo, suicidal depressions, heart problems, etc. are routinely reported to ACSN. Many consumers report bizarre psychological symptoms as well. This happens when the Phenylalanine in Aspartame depletes levels of the neurotransmitter, Serotonin, a brain chemical which regulates aggressive behaviors and sleep patterns, among other things.

    Many pilots appear to be particularly susceptible to the effects of aspartame ingestion. They have reported numerous serious toxicity effects including grand mal seizures in the cockpit (Stoddard 1995).

    Nearly 1,000 cases of pilot reactions have been reported to the Aspartame Consumer Safety Network Pilot Hotline (Stoddard 1995). This susceptibility may be related to ingesting methanol at altitude as suggested in a letter from Dr. Phil Moskal, Professor of Microbiology, Biochemistry, and Pathology, Chairman of the Department of Pathology, Director of Public Health Laboratories (Moskal 1990),

    or it may simply be that some pilots tend to ingest large quantities of aspartame during a flight.

  • eek!

    and the darn stuff is everywhere, I find most drinks too sweet and it's not proper sweet either and you still feel thirsty (only way I can describe it with no taste) J :D

  • yes, and it gives me a headache every time, I try to avoid.

  • Thanks helvella.

    We have been telling family members for a while now to keep off of artificial sweeteners if they can as we found out they were doing more harm than good, we have now changed to the 'Stevia' sweeteners which are available in most shops. Stevia comes from a plant and has no calories.

    Daughter and I were shocked when a child dietitian was trying to push for my Daughter's child to be given a daily multivitamin jelly sweet with aspartame in it, my daughter had asked if aspartame was part of the sweet's ingredient, the child dietitian said she did not know about aspartame, we both thought it unbelievable that a dietitian had not heard of aspartame before.

  • A dietitian without knowledge of aspartame? How grievously discouraging.

  • That is exactly what she told us rocketmom, we were shocked, but not surprised. You would expect a dietitian 'expert' to be better updated in anything diet connected because she is dealing daily with 'our' children's health.

  • Apart from all other considerations and scare stories, I find that all artificial sweeteners I have been unlucky enough to have inadvertently tried, taste absolutely foul and are instantly recognisable!!! I shall be sticking to sugar thank you very much!

  • Zephyrbear, I can't bear the taste of of things which have artificial sweeteners so I always avoid them. I don't have a weight issue or high blood sugar so I don't have a problem with sugar.

  • Most sweeteners are rubbish anyway! Things like Aspartme have already been banned in some countries and so they should, why not just use less of the real thing rather than try replacing it?

  • All sweeteners including Stevia are rubbish. Having been diagnosed at 12 months old with Type 1 diabetes I had them in the 80s and then became completely intolerant of them over the years. I think they taste bad and actually they do harm all over the body. You may not see that harm but trust me honey or maple syrup in small amounts is far better for you.

    Just posted about the first ingredient in B12 supplements being Xylitol. It seems everything is trying to be sugar free and instead making some us really sick because of it!

  • For friends / family that need the elevator pitch, this is what I say to get them to stop with the sweeteners. (I intentionally keep it as basic as possible) When your body tastes something sweet it's trained to make itself ready for calories. When your body learns that no calories come with sweet, it stops this process and takes your metabolism offline. So, next time you consume sweet, what do you think happens? Your body is trained to do nothing... cue diabetes. Sweet needs to continue to come with calories. Our body is designed for this process.

    It's pretty basic but it gets the message across and it seems to make people think or look more into the matter themselves.

    If you go off into talking about gut bacteria, people's eyes just gloss over.

  • Unfortunately, mine are glossing over with it too but it's pretty darn important for anyone with autoimmune! (Hope this hasn't got that tone to it like I am disagreeing or something, because I totally agree about people switching off!)

    The ways in which all these issues are manifesting in todays world is a little terrifying and it all seems to be getting so much worse, so much quicker.

    Did you see one of the good ol' pesticide companies in US want to up their use by 40,000%! Never mind the bees we'll all be dropping down ill if that gets the go ahead!

  • Many years ago I used to find that having two or three drinks containing saccharin, apart from tasting horrible, would seem to make my heart beat feel wrong - too fast. I found this out when going out to pubs and being the driver. :-)

    I always wondered if it was simply my imagination. Drink something horrible and you feel bad! And by gosh, most artificial sweeteners taste disgusting.


  • The NHS has it own view on this story (quite complimentary to the Guardian):


  • Thanks for the article. I'm wondering if whether when I had diabetic chocolate a week ago it might have impacted on my thyroid. I thought it'd be a good idea to avoid food with sugar in it and so I bought chocolate that contained a sweetener called Mannitol. Within a few minutes my stomach became very noisy, unsettled and each step I took jarred through my stomach, it was terrible! I had cramping, diarrhoea and gas and to help with the stomach issues I ate some buttered toast which helped a bit. I really hope I didn't cause much damage to my body by eating something I thought would help.

You may also like...