Originally published March 6 2008
Diet Sweeteners Can Make You Sick and Fat
by Andreas Moritz
(NaturalNews) If you are among those calorie-conscious consumers who opt for diet sodas or other diet products, you may actually ruin your health and become fat, according to several new studies.
A Purdue University study published 10 February 2008 in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience reported that rats on diets containing the artificial sweetener saccharin gained more weight than rats given sugary food, casting doubt on the benefits of low-calorie sweeteners.
During an interview, ABC News' medical contributor Dr. Marie Savard stated that "there is something about diet foods that changes your metabolic limit, your brain chemistry." Savard said another recent study, which included more than 18,000 people, found healthy adults who consumed one diet drink a day could increase their risk of health problems and metabolic disorders by a whooping 30 to 40 percent.
The Purdue study showed there is a direct connection between the taste of food and calorie consumption. The rats whose diets contained artificial sweeteners appeared to overeat and become fat more quickly.
"The taste buds taste sweet, but there's no calorie load that comes with it. There's a mismatch here. It seems it changes your brain chemistry in some way," Savard said. "Anything you put in your mouth, your body has a strong reaction to it. It's much more than counting calories. It seems normally with sweet foods that we rev up our metabolism."
Today 59 percent of Americans consume diet soft drinks, making them the second-most-popular low-calorie, sugar-free products in the nation, according to a consumer survey from the Calorie Control Council, a nonprofit association that represents the low-calorie and reduced-fat food and beverage industry. If you add to that all the thousands of available diet foods that also contain artificial sweeteners, it is no surprise that over 60 percent of the American population suffer from metabolic disorders and are overweight or obese. Weight gain increases the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
The following excerpt is taken from the author's book: "Timeless Secrets of Health and Rejuvenation":
Why Sweeteners Make You Fat
A major American controlled study on 80,000 women showed that those who regularly use artificial sweeteners put on more weight per year than those who do not use them. What is even more surprising is the finding that, with the widespread use of sweeteners, the consumption of ordinary sugar and sugary foods has increased, too. In other words, the more artificial sweeteners you consume, the more food urges you have, thereby fulfilling their patent as an "appetite enhancement".
There is overwhelming proof that these food poisons are making us fat. Research conducted at Purdue University shows that a group of test subjects fed artificial sweeteners subsequently consumed three times the calories of those given regular sugar. According to the study, it is far less fattening to eat sugar than artificial sweeteners, although eating this much regular sugar isn't good for anyone either.
Most mainstream doctors recommend that their overweight patients consume diet soda, Sweet-N-Low, etc. for weight loss, but in actual fact their advice causes the patients to crave calories and binge on unhealthy carbohydrates. The obesity epidemic is spreading like wildfire ever since diet foods and beverages gained popularity. The following explanation resolves this mystery.
The body has a self-regulating mechanism, a kind of thermostat that measures the amount of energy (or calories) it can obtain from a particular meal. When your body has received enough energy from the food you have eaten, then your mouth, stomach, intestines, and liver send messages to the brain that all energy requirements have been met. Subsequently, your nervous system secretes hormones that stop your desire for more food. This point of saturation is essential for your wellbeing, for without it you would continuously want to eat and never feel satisfied. If, for instance, during one particular meal, you eat foods that contain only very little energy or at least not enough to fulfill your energy requirements, then your body will tempt you to eat more during the next meal. This way, the body makes up for the loss of energy during the previous meal. The same happens when your digestive ability is low and you are not deriving sufficient energy from the food you eat.
On the other hand, when you eat food during one meal that has a higher content of calories than your body really requires at this moment, it will signal for less energy during the next meal. Your body will strive to keep your individual "set point" or energy distribution point as balanced and normal as possible. Whenever you deprive yourself of eating enough and are unable to meet the energy needs of your body, you will look for more food the next day, the day after, and so on. This leads to chronic overeating which packs plenty of low-energy food into your intestinal tract. Since your body is incapable of digesting and absorbing low-energy food properly, it turns this food into fat and waste, and clogs up your lymphatic, digestive, and circulatory systems.
This is the time when your body signals "famine." You start craving foods, particularly refined carbohydrates such as ordinary sugar, chocolate, sweet beverages, coffee, etc., which all give you an instant boost of energy. But they also contain only "empty" energy and just raise the sugar level in your blood for a short time. After a while the sugar levels drops below normal, which may cause depression, moodiness and exhaustion.
If you are overweight and believe that you can reduce weight by restricting your daily intake of calories, you will be very disappointed. Within a few days, your body will run out of energy and want to eat, hence the increased appetite or craving. If you still don't eat enough, you will fall into a depression, which may cause you to binge on food ravenously. Your body thinks that periodic famines are going on and tries to convert some of the food into fat deposits to prepare for the next one. After each "voluntary famine" or "weight reducing" diet, your body will put on weight much faster than it did before. This is known as the yo-yo effect.
Under normal circumstances, the body converts calories into heat, which then simply evaporates. Well-circulated brown fat tissue, which is located near the large arteries and in the underarms, is the main source of this energy. New research suggests that in some obese people this mechanism may be disturbed and that the best dietary rules would be of no avail. Abusing the body's digestive system through frequent strict dieting may be the main cause of this problem.
Because artificial sweeteners are low-energy foods and non-physiological, the body deals with them in the same way as described above. It recognizes their complete absence of potential energy and signals "low energy." As a result, it stimulates the desire for more food. This principle is a well-known and commonly applied practice, both in the food industry and in animal feeding. Animal feeds contain highly concentrated saccharin to stimulate the animal's appetite so that they eat more frequently and grow fat faster. The same mechanism applies to the human body, including children.
Children eating diet foods in lieu of the full-calorie versions may lead to overeating and obesity when they grow up, according to a 2007 report from the University of Alberta, Canada. Lead researcher Professor David Pierce stated, "Based on what we've learned, it is better for children to eat healthy, well-balanced diets with sufficient calories for their daily activities rather than low-calorie snacks or meals."
Deceiving the Body
For both humans and animals, aspartame, sucralose, saccharin and other sweeteners belong to the category of "sweet" food. The sweetness of natural foods is caused by sugar. Because sugar can move straight through the stomach walls, it will appear in the bloodstream within 3-5 minutes. However, the body has to keep the blood sugar level in check since too little or too much sugar can be dangerous. The body regulates sugar levels automatically through simple reflex mechanisms. When sugar touches the taste buds for the sweet taste on the tongue, the pancreas is given the instruction to secrete insulin, which is required to make it (the sugar) available to the cells.
If you eat artificial sweeteners, the body naturally responds to their sweet taste by secreting insulin. Rather than receiving sugar in the blood as expected, however, it receives a combination of protein compounds. Doing its normal job, the pancreas has already prepared a portion of insulin that now floats about in the bloodstream searching for the expected sugar. Since it isn't found there, the insulin removes some of the blood sugar instead. This effectively lowers your sugar levels. However, since this situation can be life-endangering, your body quickly signals "hunger" which becomes a sudden, strong "craving." Since foods with artificial sweeteners are not able to meet the demand for an increase in blood sugar, you begin to look for sugary foods.
Instead of saving the calories that are contained in ordinary sugar, you have artificially increased your need and appetite for more sweet food. If you try to satisfy this desire by eating more foods containing artificial sweeteners (without calories), the urge to eat will become even stronger than before and you will start overeating. Researchers have found that the urge to eat more food after ingesting artificial sweeteners in a drink can last up to 90 minutes, even when all blood tests show normal values.
A more serious situation arises when the body is given artificial sweeteners on an ongoing basis. Since the sweeteners repeatedly stimulate the taste buds responsible for detecting sugar, the brain maintains an almost continuous urge to eat. At the same time, the liver is instructed by the brain to store sugar supplies rather than to release them, which causes chronic fatigue. The pancreas, which had wrongly assumed that real sugar was entering the bloodstream, eventually realizes that it has been cheated. Hence it reduces its secretion of insulin. One might think that this solves the problem but the body reacts with depression.
Sweeteners Cause Obesity, Depression, Brain Damage
Sugar is known to "improve" moods for relatively short periods of time. With the help of insulin, sugar increases the secretion of Serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter of happiness. If insulin secretion fails to occur, happiness remains low. The only way to get out of this situation, it seems, is to eat sugar so that the body can secrete insulin again.
You may believe that the fewer calories you eat, the more weight you will lose. But food manufactures know that the more artificially sweetened foods and beverages you consume, the more you will want their normal sugar-containing foods and beverages as well. Diet foods and diet beverages have not only contributed to a massive increase in sugar consumption and obesity but also led to an epidemic of depression. I have seen numerous depressed people over the years, a large percentage of whom regularly used artificial sweeteners. By cutting out diet foods and "light" products, they have returned to their normal moods, and they have lost excess weight, too.
Apart from causing obesity and depression, sweeteners have been linked to insomnia, headaches, giddiness, loss of memory, nausea, pre-menstrual syndrome, panic attacks, epileptic fits, and even overstimulation of breast glands leading to breast cancer. Aspartame in particular may cause extensive damage to the central nervous system. Once it has entered the intestinal tract, aspartame is converted into two highly excitatory neurotransmitter amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine, as well as into methyl alcohol (wood-grain alcohol) and formaldehyde (embalming fluid).
Wood alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances that result from eating artificial sweeteners. It may directly enter the bloodstream and move through the brain barrier into the central nervous system where it can influence the neurotransmitters, alter brain function, and cause brain damage. Wood alcohol can cause blindness and formaldehyde can cause cancer. In some cases aspartame may suppress appetite and "kill" AGNI, the digestive fire, altogether. Both can lead to quick, excessive weight gain. According to Consumer Reports, aspartame has a shelf life of between two and three months. After that it begins to break down and pose an increasing danger to the consumer. The same occurs when aspartame or an aspartame-containing food is heated.
Aspartame accounts for more than 75 percent of the total adverse reactions to food reported to the U.S. Federal Drug Administration. Hundreds of airline pilots have reported symptoms of memory loss and confusion, headaches, seizures, visual disturbances and gastrointestinal reactions as a result of consuming sweeteners. If pregnant women consume large quantities of diet sodas to avoid weight gain, their placenta may accumulate methyl alcohol, causing mental retardation in the fetus. They also risk maternal malnutrition because of the gastrointestinal problems and diarrhea associated with sweeteners.
Other sweeteners besides aspartame have similar effects. Added to soft drinks, they are now even linked with testicular damage and other key areas of the body. Stimulating the brain of a child with these "pleasure-enhancing" chemicals in beverages will, in some cases, program their senses to look for and use stronger addictive substances such as hard drugs or large amounts of alcohol later in life. The latest sweetener, acesulfame K, may also be carcinogenic, i.e., cause cancer, according to a report published in the British Medical Journal in 1996. To avoid serious health problems, it is best to stick to foods and beverages that come from purely natural sources.
A sugar called tagatose is one of the next sweeteners that will be appearing on products labeled under the pseudo-hygienic appellations of "Light", "Lite", "Low Calorie", "Sugar Free", "Sugarless", "Low Fat", or "Low Sodium," etc. Hyperuricemia is an unhealthy and unacceptable result from ingesting tagatose. Some researchers believe hyperuricemia is a risk factor for ischemic heart disease, and it has been associated with lipid abnormalities, hypertension, stroke, and preeclampsia. It is an especially hazardous effect with regards to diabetes because hyperuricemia is damaging to the pancreas as well as possibly causing major harm to other organs and systems in the body. Having too much uric acid in the blood predisposes you to developing gout, a painful joint condition.
If you wish to protect yourself and your family from the dreadful consequences of universal deceit and actually benefit from the foods you eat, start with fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. And be sure to prepare your foods from scratch.
For more information on this subject and hundreds of other life-saving topics, see Timeless Secrets of Health and Rejuvenation by Andreas Moritz, available through (www.ener-chi.com) , (www.amazon.com) , or other booksellers.
About the authorAndreas Moritz is a medical intuitive; a practitioner of Ayurveda, iridology, shiatsu, and vibrational medicine; a writer; and an artist. He is the author of the international bestseller, The Amazing Liver and Gallbladder Flush; Timeless Secrets of Health and Rejuvenation, Lifting the Veil of Duality, Cancer Is Not a Disease, It's Time to Come Alive, Heart Disease No More, Diabetes No More, Simple Steps to Total Health, Diabetes—No More, Ending the AIDS Myth. Feel Great - Lose Weight, Heal Yourself with Sunlight, and Vaccine-nation: Poisoning the Population, One Shot at a Time. For more information, visit the author's website: www.ener-chi.com
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