Swithers: “Counterintuitive… derangements” from diet soda

Everyone loves a counterintuitive scientific paper, unless they don’t like it. Here’s a new counterintuitive scientific paper:

Artificial sweeteners produce the counterintuitive effect of inducing metabolic derangements,” Susan E. Swithers [pictured here], Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, epub 2013. The author, at Purdue University, explains:

Swithers_Susan“The negative impact of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages on weight and other health outcomes has been increasingly recognized; therefore, many people have turned to high-intensity sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin as a way to reduce the risk of these consequences. However, accumulating evidence suggests that frequent consumers of these sugar substitutes may also be at increased risk of excessive weight gain, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. This paper discusses these findings and considers the hypothesis that consuming sweet-tasting but noncaloric or reduced-calorie food and beverages interferes with learned responses that normally contribute to glucose and energy homeostasis. Because of this interference, frequent consumption of high-intensity sweeteners may have the counterintuitive effect of inducing metabolic derangements.”

(Thanks to investigator Jessica Girard for bringing this to our attention.)