Effect of artificial and natural sweeteners on glucose and insulin in plasma of rats
More details
Hide details
Department of Dietetics, Faculty of Human Nutrition and Consumer Science, Warsaw University of Life Science, Poland
Corresponding author
Ewelina Pałkowska   

Nowoursynowska 159c, 02-776 Warsaw, 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.

Gardnem Ch, Wylie-Rosett J, Gidding S, Steffen L M, Johnson R K, Reader D, Lichtenstein A. Nonnutritive Sweeteners: Current Use and Health Perspectives. A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care. 2012, 35(8):1798-1808.
Davidson TL, Martin AA, Clark K, Swithers SE. Intake of highintensity sweeteners alters the ability of sweet taste to signal caloric consequences: Implications for the learned control of energy and body weight regulation. Q J Exp Psychol. 2011; 64(7): 1430-1441.
Martinez C, Gonzalez E, Garcia RS, Salas G, Constantino-Cassas F, Marcias L, et al. Effects on body mass of laboratory rats after ingestion of drinking water with sucrose, fructose, aspartame and sucralose additives. Open Obes J. 2010; 2: 116-124.
Pierce WD, Heth CD, Owczarczyk JC, Russell JC, Proctor SD. Overeating by young obesity-prone and lean rats caused by tastes associated with low energy foods. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2007; 8: 1969-1979.
Swithers SE, Davidson TL. A role for sweet taste: calorie predictive relations in energy regulation by rats. Behav Neurosci. 2008; 122(1): 161-173.
Swithers SE, Martin AA, Davidson TL. High-intensity sweeteners and energy balance. Physiol Behav. 2010; 100(1): 55-62.
Jang HJ, Kokrashvili Z, Theodorakis MJ. Gut-expressed gustducin and taste receptors regulate secretion of glucagon-like peptide-1. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2007; 104(38): 15069-15074.
Scrafani A. Sweet taste signaling in the gut. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2007; 104(38): 14887-14888.
Brown RJ, Walter M, Rother KI. Ingestion of diet soda before a glucose load augments glucagon-like peptide-1 secretion. Diabetes Care 2009; 32(12): 2184-2186.
Just T, Wilhelm H, Ulrike P, Engler U, Hummelb T. Cephalic phase insulin release in healthy humans after taste stimulation? Appetite 2008; 51(3): 622-7.
Nakagawa Y, Nagasawa M, Yamaada S, Hara A, Mogami H, Nikolaev VO. Sweet taste receptor expressed in pancreatic Beta-Cells activates the Calcium and Cyclic AMP Signaling Systems and stimulates insulin secretion. PLoS One 2009, info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0005106 (access: 2012.09.12).
Black RM, Leiter L A, Anderson GH. Consuming aspartame with and without taste: differential effects on appetite and food intake of young adult males. Physiol Behav. 1992; 53(3): 459-466.
Sclafani A. Post-ingestive positive controls of ingestive behavior. Appetite 2001; 36(1): 79-83.
Tordoff MG, Alleva AM. Oral stimulation with aspartame increases hunger. Physiol Behav. 1990; 47(3): 555-559.
Smeets PAM, De Graaf C, Stafleu A, Osch MJP, Grond J. Functional magnetic resonance imaging of human hypothalamic responses to sweet taste and calories. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005; 82(5): 1011-1016.
Bonora E, Targher G, Alberiche M, Bonadonna R, Saggiani F, Zenere M, Monauni T, Muggeo M. Homeostasis model assessment closely mirrors the glucose clamp technique in the assessment of insulin sensitivity: studies in subjects with various degrees of glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. Diabetes Care 2000; 23(1): 57-63.
Matthews D, Hosker J, Rudenski A, Naylor B, Treacher D, Turner R. Homeostasis Model Assessment: insulin resistance and Β-Cell function from fasting plasma glucose and insulin concentrations in man. Diabetologia 1985; 28(7): 412-419.
Nettltton JA, Polak JF, Tracy R, Burke GL, Jacobs DR. Dietary patterns and incident cardiovascular disease in the Multi-Ethnic Study Of Atherosclerosis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009; 90(3): 647-654.
Fowler SP, Williams K, Resendez RG, Hunt KJ, Hazuda HP, Michael P, Stern MP. Fueling the obesity epidemic? Artificially sweetened beverage use and long-term weight gain. Obesity 2008; 16: 1894-1900.
Appleton KM, Conner MT. Body weight, body-weight concerns and eating styles in habitual heavy users and non-users of artificially sweetened beverages. Appetite 2001; 37: 225-230.
Mattes RD, Popkin BM. Nonnutritive sweetener consumption in humans: effects on appetite and food intake and their putative mechanisms. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009; 89: 1-14.
Yamamotoo T, Sakoa N, Maedab S. Effects of taste stimulation on betaendorphin levels in rat cerebrospinal fluid and plasma. Physiol Behav. 2000; 69(3): 345-350.
Cha SH, Wolfgang M, Tokutake Y, Chohnan S, Lane M. Differential effects of central fructose and glucose on hypothalamic malonyl-CoA and food intake. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2008; 105(44): 16871-16875.
Lane MD, Cha SH. Effect of glucose and fructose on food intake via malonyl-Coa signaling in the brain. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009; 382(1): 1-5.
Teff KL, Elliott SS, Tschop M, Kieffer TJ, Rader D, Heiman M, et al. Dietary fructose reduces circulating insulin and leptin, attenuates postprandial suppression of ghrelin, and increases triglycerides in women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004; 89(6): 2963-2972.
De Graaf C, Schreurs A, Blauw Yh. Short-term effects of different amounts of sweet and nonsweet carbohydrates on satiety and energy intake. Physiol Behav. 1996; 54(5): 833-843.
Bellisle F, Drewnowski A. Intense sweeteners, energy intake and the control of body weight. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2001; 61: 691-700.
Furudono Y, Ando C, Yamamoto C, Kobashi M, Yamamoto T. Involvement of specific orexigenic neuropeptides in sweetener-induced overconsumption in rats, Behav Brain Res. 2006; 175(2): 241-248.
Saper C, Chou T, Elmquist J. The need to feed: homeostatic and hedonic control of eating. Neuron. 2002; 36(2): 199-211.
Sorensen LB, Moller P, Flint A, Martens M, Raben A. Effect of sensory perception of foods on appetite and food intake: a review of studies on humans. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2003; 27(10): 1152-1166.
Grotz V, Henry R, Mcgill J, Prince M, Shamoon H, Trout J, Pi-Sunyer F. Lack of effect of sucralose on glucose homeostasis in subjects with type 2 diabetes. J Am Diet Assoc. 2003; 103(12): 1607-1612.
Mace OJ, Affec J, Patel N, Kellett GL. Sweet taste receptors in rat small intestine stimulates glucose absorption through apical Glut2. J Physiol. 2007; 582: 379-92.
Margolskee RF, Dyer J, Kokrashvili Z, Salmon KS, Ilegms E, Daly K, et al. T1r3 and gusductin in gut sense sugars to regulate expression of Na-Glucose Cotransporter 1. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2007; 104: 15075-15080.
Havel PJ. Peripheral Signals Conveying Metabolic Information To The Brain: Short-Term And Long-Term Regulation Of Food Intake And Energy Homeostasis. Exp Biol Med. 2001; 226(11): 963-977.
Woods SC, Porte DJR, Bobbioni E, Ionescu E, Sauter JF, Rohner- Jeanrenaud F, Jeanrenaud B. Insulin: its relationship to the central nervous system and to the control of food intake and body weight. Am J Clin Nutr. 1985; 42(5): 1063-1071.
Mohlig M, Spranger J, Otto B, Ristow M, Pfeiffer AF. Euglycemic hyperinsulinemia, but not lipid infusion, decreases circulating ghrelin levels in humans. J Endocrinol Invest. 2002; 25: 36-38.
Thomas S, Wisher M, Brandenburg D, Sonksen P. Insulin action on adipocytes. Evidence that the anti-lipolytic and lipogenic effects of insulin are mediated by the same receptor. Biochem J. 1979; 184(2): 355-360.
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top