How artificially sweetened drinks affect your health 

Original Article:

Sugar Alternatives

There are usually about 39 grams of sugar in a single can of soda and consuming this type of soda may cause excess weight gain. Because of this, soda companies introduced synthetic sweeteners such as sodium cyclamate, aspartame,  and acesulfame to try to reduce potentially harmful effects to human health. Now researchers have looked at what happens in our mouth when we drink artificially sweetened drinks compared to traditionally soda or simply drinking water. 

How is sugar digested?

The breakdown of sugar starts in our mouths. We taste sweetness when our taste buds tell our brain what is in our mouth. This triggers more saliva to break down the food and the body prepares for the sugar by producing insulin which can be associated with feelings of hunger. 

How are alternative sweeteners digested?

When drinking or eating something that has been artificially sweetened, our taste buds still signal to the brain that we are tasting something sweet, leading to insulin secretion and saliva production. However, aspartame is not broken down until the food reaches the small intestine. 

In a new study 15 healthy volunteers drank five different test drinks (diet soft drinks, regular soft drinks, mineral water with sweeteners, the same products with low sucrose content, and water) The researchers found that the sense of sweetness was greater with the artificially sweetened drinks, and drinks with sucrose, compared to water. This was associated with greater salivary aspartame after the diet soft drink compared to water with sweeteners. These were also higher salivary insulin levels with regular and diet soft drinks compared to low sucrose and water test-drinks ingestion. It is likely that the aspartame in the saliva is then swallowed.These findings suggest that artificial sweeteners have measurable effects on our metabolism and these begin immediately when we start ingesting them.