Category Archives: Artificial sweeteners

10 reasons to give up Health Magazine for diet soda information

An article titled "10 reasons to give up diet soda" has made its way around the web in the last few months, most recently to CNN this week. Below I reproduce each of their reasons and explain why it is scientifically misleading. It confuses your body Artificial sweeteners have more intense flavor than real sugar, so over time products like diet soda dull our senses to naturally sweet foods like fruit, says Brooke Alpert, author of "The Sugar Detox." Even more troubling, these sugar stand-ins Read more [...]

Artificial Opinions

Note: A shorter version of this post appears on Weighty Matters. An opinion article in the journal Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism by Dr. Susan Swithers about artificial sweeteners made for scary articles last week. Here is a small sampling: "Do Diet Drinks Mess Up Metabolisms?" at NPR's The Salt "Diet soda may do more harm than good" at CNN (in which the journalist says Stevia isn't a chemical and Swithers is quoted saying saccharin is a derivative of tar- in fact it was discovered Read more [...]

Dr. Oz’s not-so-sweet artificial sweetener recommendations

Dr. Oz writes today that artificial sweeteners are "linked to diabetes and some forms of cancers – including cancers of the colon, kidney, and esophagus." The study he links is by Gallus and colleagues (2006), who actually found that artificial sweeteners were NOT linked to any of those cancers. There was a positive association for total artificial sweetener consumption only with laryngeal cancer, but an inverse with breast and ovarian cancer. So do artificial sweeteners prevent cancer too? Read more [...]

Artificially sweetened beverages are not associated with an increased risk for heart attacks

The same day as the last post on diet beverages and metabolic syndrome, another relevant paper was published in Circulation by the Harvard group. This is the same group using the same cohort that found no link to artificial sweeteners and diabetes last year. This time they analyzed for heart attacks as the endpoint, which is more similar to the recent paper that found a positive association with cardiovascular events, so it is worth commenting on. Design The Health Professionals Follow-up Read more [...]

Diet beverages inconsistent on metabolic syndrome components

Last month I wrote about a paper that linked diet soda to an increase in cardiovascular events. The authors (at least first author Dr. Gardener) gave some notes of caution in interpreting the results to some journalists, but overall I strongly disliked how it was covered. It is one study with important limitations that many don't seem to understand. Aside from Yoni, I didn't see any critical vetting of the paper. Luckily we didn't have to wait much longer for a stronger research design. A new Read more [...]

Sugary soda doesn’t increase risk of heart attack or stroke

Can you imagine that title being reported throughout the media without a fiery backlash of skepticism (except for smug soda drinkers)? Yet the reporting on a new study that indeed found this in their results instead focused on its finding of a positive association between diet soda consumption and vascular events. Many popular websites trumpeted the findings as solid, or at least didn't provide an appropriate context for interpretation. Here are some reasons why both of the above conclusions would Read more [...]