[메디컬리포트=Maricor Zapata 기자]
Sugar is one the chemicals found in our body which helps it function properly.It can be the source of our energy, which we use regardless of whether we are awake or sleeping.However, anything taken in excessive amounts can be dangerous.This holds just as true with sugars, too.Consuming sugar in high amounts can lead to the inability of the body to absorb insulin, leading to the weakening of the immune system, weight gain, diabetes, heart complications, and even cancer.
Following the warnings against the use of simple sugars, artificial sweeteners became a thing as people began to believe that it is possible to enjoy sweetness in coffee or teas without spiking blood sugar levels.On the contrary, using artificial sweeteners may actually hurt the human bodily systems by confusing the digestive system and the brain and leading them to convert the substances into stored fat.In a worst-case scenario, these substances may lead to complications in the health of a person.
“Sugar consumption and artificial sweeteners consumption is a gradual process,” said Marisa Pruitt, a Gundersen Health System registered dietitian. “It’s a little bit more, a little bit more, until we get to a point where we’re no longer consuming them in moderation.”
When Artificial Sweeteners Causes the Weight Gain
Artificial sweeteners were created to help people get the sweet without the calories.However, studies revealed that artificial sweeteners are actually rejected by the body because they are “artificial.” The body can only digest substances they are familiar with.Everything apart from natural foods are stored instead in the body as fat.People who are trying to lose weight or keep excess weight off are actually leading their body to do the other way around by using artificial substances instead of the good old granular sugar, which the body can better identify with and digest normally.
A recent study by researchers at the George and Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation at the University of Manitoba studied over 400,000 participants for about a decade.The team also reviewed more than 30 research studies about people who regularly consume artificial sweeteners and the link of it with the development of grave health conditions.They found these people are at a higher risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and cardiovascular problems.
Another research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal looked at Western people who regularly consume artificial sweeteners.It found these people developed life-threatening health conditions as well as other complications including obesity.They said, “Our results also extend previous meta-analyses that showed higher risks of Type 2 diabetes and hypertension with regular consumption.”
These studies are echoing the results of other studies into the same issue, providing more evidence that artificial sweeteners are better off the supermarket shelves.Rather than helping people shed off pounds, these sweeteners can hurt the health and fitness of a person, resulting in his or her weight gain.It was reported that people who use artificial sweeteners have a greater risk of continuously gaining weight for over 10 years.
Apart from being a weight-gain booster, artificial sweeteners are also associated with distorting the cravings of a person.A person’s body normally craves certain foods because of the lack of nutrients.It was reported that the use of artificial sweeteners can trigger a person to consume more foods than usual as a result of the body’s instinct to search for what was missing and eat to survive.Findings such as this resulted in some researchers to raise questions about whether weight gain acquired through the use of the sweeteners actually have an impact on the cardiometabolic health of a person.
Pruitt said that the sign that says “zero calories” and the suggestion that it can help a person lose weight in the packaging is just a marketing strategy of the brands.More studies will need to be done in order to better understand the implications of artificial sweeteners to the health of a person and whether these substances are harmful to the human body.Researchers are stressing though that it is still better to opt for the natural sweetener than the artificial ones.
"From all that research, there was no consistent evidence of a long term benefit from the sweetener, but there was evidence for weight gain and increased risks of other cardiometabolic outcomes," said Dr.Megan Azad, a researcher from the University of Manitoba. “Given the widespread and increasing use of artificial sweeteners and the current epidemic of obesity and related diseases, more research is needed to determine the long-term risks and benefits of these products.”
Health-conscious people are now leaning away from the consumption of anything artificial but remain watchful of the amount of simple sugars they take.They are also opting to shed pounds by triggering their fat-burning capability through exercising and keeping themselves hydrated.It is always better to lean towards consuming natural foods and more water.After all, the body can only break down chemicals and substances that they know.Some “zero calorie” or “low fat” foods may actually confuse the bodily systems into thinking the body is eating but nothing is being digested due to the lack of calories in the body.The body may stop from burning fat if it is thinking it is in starvation mode or may prompt you to eat more to replenish missing nutrients.