Does the Pepsi diet have a strong influence on nutrition

Zero products prevent us from losing weight

For a long time, nutritionists had suspected that sweeteners, which are often used as a substitute for sugar in coffee - or which are often added to diet soft drinks - do not make people thinner at all. Why the sweetener is not really suitable as a diet product has not yet been researched.

Now researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have found a hot lead. They have published their study in the journal "Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism".

The sweetener that Richard Hodin's team of researchers took a closer look at is aspartame (EU food additive label: E951). Together with the compound aspartame-acesulfame salt (E962), it is one of the most frequently used sweeteners in the world. It occurs in many foods that are declared as "sugar-free", especially in soft drinks, sweets such as chewing gum, ready-made dairy products, baked goods or instant coffee.

Diet effect is switched off

Be very strong now, because aspartame hardly helps in losing weight. "We found that aspartame blocks an enzyme in the stomach called 'intestinal alkaline phosphatase' (IAP)," explains Hodin, who teaches at Harvard Medical School. IAP is made in the small intestine.

"We knew that IAP could prevent obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome [a disease characterized by obesity, high blood pressure, a metabolic disorder, and insulin resistance, editor's note]. So aspartame probably won't work because it does the beneficial aspects of IAP prevented. "

However, the aspartame does not block the IAP enzyme directly, but via a detour: it breaks down in the stomach. This creates a substance called phenylalanine - and this in turn affects the IAP enzyme.

Attention! Especially with a combination of fat and sweetener.

Higher blood sugar levels due to sweetener

The researchers confirmed their suspicion through various experiments on mice: They fed IAP to mice that were also given a very fatty diet. It turned out that IAP could actually prevent the development of a metabolic syndrome. It has also relieved symptoms in animals that were already suffering from it.

The researchers then demonstrated that the active effect of the IAP was significantly weakened by the introduction of an aspartame solution into the small intestine. With a sugar solution or a salt solution, however, it remained the same.

To quench your thirst, it is best to use drinks that contain neither sugar nor sweetener

The doctors then carried out experiments on four groups of mice. Two groups received normal food, two received high-fat food. One of them was given water to drink and the other group a sweetener solution.

The amount of sweetener in the normally fed mice was roughly equivalent to that when an adult human would drink three and a half cans of diet soda daily. In the high-fat mice, the consumption corresponded to two doses.

In the end it turned out that there were hardly any measurable differences between the two groups of normally fed mice. But among the mice that were fed high-fat diets, the mice that were also given sweetener had become significantly heavier.

The blood sugar level was increased in all the mice that had received the sweetener. An indication of glucose intolerance. And they also had higher levels of the TNF-alpha protein in their blood. This protein indicates inflammation, which is considered typical of the metabolic syndrome.

And now? You can probably guess: It is best to use drinks that contain neither sugar nor sweeteners - or that are kept in the right proportions. As so often. What was it like with coffee, eggs and the like? Here we have summarized it again for you:

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