Effect of artificial and natural sweeteners on glucose and insulin in plasma of rats
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Department of Dietetics, Faculty of Human Nutrition and Consumer Science, Warsaw University of Life Science, Poland
J Pre Clin Clin Res. 2012;6(2):93–97
The role of artificial sweeteners in body-weight regulation is still unclear. Replacing sugar with low-calorie sweeteners is a common strategy for facilitating weight control. Whether using artificial sweeteners may augment positive energy balance through increased food intake was investigated. The effects of sweet taste and its sources (carbohydrate and non-caloric sweeteners) on diet growth efficiency, fasting and postprandial glucose and insulin plasma concentrations were also compared.

Material and Methods:
140 male Sprague-Dawley rats (initial body mass: 325 ± 19g) were randomly divided into 4 groups. Each group was provided with isoenergetic diets: 3 with the same sweet taste intensity (with sucralose – SU, sucrose – SC and maltodextrine – M) and one diet non-sweet (NS). Food intake was recorded daily and body weight measured twice a week/controlled every two days. After 3 weeks, animals were euthanized as follows: fasting and 30, 60, 120, 180 min. after an appropriate meal (n=7 from each group/time point).

The group receiving sucralose consumed more feed and had significantly increased body weight compared to the other groups. The diet growth efficiency in groups SU was statistically higher than in NS and SC groups, but did not differ from group M. In SU group, postprandial increases in glucose and insulin levels were significantly lower compared to both SC and M groups, but no different from group NS. Fasting HOMA insulin resistance index was not significantly different among the groups.

The results indicate that the sweet taste of a diet derived from non-caloric sweeteners may increase food intake sufficiently to cause a significant increase in body weight gain. These results could support the hypothesis that artificial sweeteners weaken a predictive relationship between sweet taste and the caloric consequences of eating.

Ewelina Pałkowska   
Nowoursynowska 159c, 02-776 Warsaw, Poland
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