Metabolic Syndrome Is Tied to Diet Soda

No Snacks, no sweets, no seconds. Except on Days that start with S. Too simple for you? Simple is why it works. Look here for questions, introductions, support, success stories.

Moderators: Soprano, automatedeating

Post Reply
User avatar
reinhard
Site Admin
Posts: 5806
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 7:38 pm
Location: Cambridge, MA
Contact:

Metabolic Syndrome Is Tied to Diet Soda

Post by reinhard » Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:06 pm

On the no s home page I give 3 reasons to avoid artificial sweetener. #2 is:
you *know* that in 10 years scientists are going to discover that they're even worse for you than real sugar.
Well, it hasn't even been 10 years and:

from:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/05/healt ... ei=5087%0A

Symptoms: Metabolic Syndrome Is Tied to Diet Soda

By NICHOLAS BAKALAR
Published: February 5, 2008
Researchers have found a correlation between drinking diet soda and metabolic syndrome — the collection of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes that include abdominal obesity, high cholesterol and blood glucose levels, and elevated blood pressure.

....


“This is interesting,†said Lyn M. Steffen, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Minnesota and a co-author of the paper, which was posted online in the journal Circulation on Jan. 22. “Why is it happening? Is it some kind of chemical in the diet soda, or something about the behavior of diet soda drinkers?â€
Obviously, correlation isn't causation, but one more reason to be careful about this stuff (see the other 2 reasons on the home page if that isn't enough).

Reinhard

User avatar
gratefuldeb67
Posts: 6172
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2005 9:26 pm
Location: NY

Post by gratefuldeb67 » Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:54 pm

Hi Reinhard. Sorry I don't have the link handy, but a FDA investigator during the years when aspartame had been introduced into all the various foods and drinks its in, wrote an article about all the stuff which was covered up and how it never ever should have been approved. Someone just getting rich off other peoples illnesses to blame. The problem with aspartame is that when you have it in your system it degenerates the central nervous system, particularly the hypothalamus. This happens because having aspartame causes formaldehyde to build up in our bodies and that has the same exact effect on our cells as denaturing alcohol on organic material.. it destroys the integrity of the cell structure. So when the hypothalamus and our central nervous system are getting destroyed, it has a general effect on all our internal organs and functions, as that's what controls it all. Sucralose, or "Splenda" has the same toxic effect, and chemically is closer in structure to the toxic pesticide DDT, than sugar, which is what they tout it to be "made from"... a load of bull just meant to make millions.
So this "Metabolic syndrome" is another way of saying, there is an overall cause for all these illnesses and malfunctioning systems, which are trying to overcome the poison in our body.
I pray that these products be removed from the mainstream within my lifetime, but I doubt it will happen. Too many people are suckered into thinking they are okay, because the the way they slipped into all these foods, and because people are being fooled to think they are "Healthy"..
I avoid every single one of them and will never feed anything with aspartame or sucralose to my family.

Have a great weekend friends
Love,
8) Debs
There is no Wisdom greater than Kindness

deadweight
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 5:48 pm

Post by deadweight » Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:29 pm

Hello, long-time lurker, first-time poster.

I'm a huge fan of the No-S diet. It's a simple, straightforward plan that lacks the BS of many other diets.

I couldn't let these two post pass without comment though.

In regards to Reinhard's initial post, the study tells us nothing other than that fat people tend to drink diet soda. Yes, metabolic syndrome is tied to diet soda, but metabolic syndrome is also tied to shopping at Lane Bryant. But people aren't fat because they shop at Lane Bryant, they shop at Lane Bryant because their fat. As Reinhard mentioned, correlation does not equal causation -- I think that's the part of his post most people will overlook though.

In regards to Deb's post, every single piece of information she wrote is incorrect (Sorry Deb, usually I love your posts, but the people you're getting your information from have zero understanding of chemistry). Sucralose is not closer to DDT than sugar and it does not cause formaldehyde to build up in your body. Asparatame is one of the most studied food additives EVER and has been deemed safe by universities, governments, AND independent groups such as the American Medical Association, American Diabetes Association, American Dietetic Association, World Health Organizationm, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and government regulators in more than 100 countries.

The FDA isn't a puppet organization for the artificial sweetener corporations. Sadly the FDA is a slow moving bureaucracy. Thousands of people die every year waiting for medications to be approved that could save their lives but to get FDA approval takes years.

I only bring this up because I am a huge fan of the No-S diet and have had great success with it and would hate to see it get derailed by anti-science fear-mongering, which is all the hardcore anti-artificial sweetener people have.

I should say that I too am anti-artificial sweeteners but only because I think they taste hideous and I'm jealous of the people who say they can't tell the difference between it and regular sugar.

User avatar
gratefuldeb67
Posts: 6172
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2005 9:26 pm
Location: NY

Post by gratefuldeb67 » Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:54 pm

Okay Deadweight :)
No need for sorry.
If I am wrong i hope so.
Perhaps my source was incorrect.
I suppose time will tell.
Peace and Love,
8) Debs
There is no Wisdom greater than Kindness

User avatar
gratefuldeb67
Posts: 6172
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2005 9:26 pm
Location: NY

Post by gratefuldeb67 » Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:03 pm

My last word on this, and I am not trying to start any arguments, but my feeling will never change.. I still won't touch these chemicals.
I personally don't trust they are safe regardless of whether they passed FDA or not.
Here's a few things I found.
I just took two random articles I found through Google on a few points I made before.
Whether they are right or not, as I said, time will tell..
Peace,
Debs

http://www.wnho.net/splenda.htm

http://www.ethicalinvesting.com/monsant ... tame.shtml
There is no Wisdom greater than Kindness

elizabeth333
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:45 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Post by elizabeth333 » Fri Feb 08, 2008 9:23 pm

As far as I'm concerned you can find information to support either side of this debate. I've read about how some brands of artificial sweeteners are more likely to harm you,(Blue stuff), than others,(pink stuff). I've read about alternatives such as stevia and agave nectar that aren't supposed to hurt you at all. I've read that anything artificial is poison. I've read that when trying to lose weight you're better off using the artificial sweetner than staying heavier because of empty calories... My point here is that whatever[/b] you really want to believe can be backed up by wonderful informaton. Problem is that this doesn't help us make decisions about what to put in our bodies. I tried to cut out soda completely because of a radio broadcast I heard about the negative aspects of both regular and diet soda. It was really scarey the things they were saying. But guess what?... when I tried to stop drinking diet soda I truely realized that I cannot stop drinking it. I've picked my poison I suppose, so I'm hoping that thje sources saying artificial sweetners aren't so bad end up being right. Especially now that i'm No S-ing, I feel that if I couldn't have a diet Pepsi between meals that would truely break me. So I'm just glad it has zero calories, and here's to trusting the good old FDA! :)

gilli
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 3:32 pm
Location: nashua, nh

Post by gilli » Fri Feb 08, 2008 9:50 pm

To quote Dr. Hibbert (Simpsons) ... "It even tries to warn you with its horrible taste!"

I do agree with Elizabeth though ... people are always going to defend either side of the argument. I've heard bad things about Stevia, even. I like this article though, because it's just one more reason that I can feel obnoxiously self-righteous by not drinking diet soda. :wink:

deadweight
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 5:48 pm

Post by deadweight » Sat Feb 09, 2008 4:25 am

gratefuldeb67 wrote:My last word on this, and I am not trying to start any arguments, but my feeling will never change.. I still won't touch these chemicals.
I personally don't trust they are safe regardless of whether they passed FDA or not.
Here's a few things I found.
I just took two random articles I found through Google on a few points I made before.
Whether they are right or not, as I said, time will tell..
Peace,
Debs

http://www.wnho.net/splenda.htm

http://www.ethicalinvesting.com/monsant ... tame.shtml
Deb I can't stand online debates either, so I don't want this to become one, I would just urge you to look at the qualifications of sources you're quoting. I've never heard of the World Natural Health Organization, or ethicalinvesting.com. I'm not sure what their scientific qualifications are. I do know that virtually everything in the articles is scientifically inaccurate. The first one claims, "In a simple word you would just as soon have DDT in your food as Splenda, because sucralose is a chlorocarbon." But they're wrong, it's not a chlorocarbon. It's the hydrochloride salt of a dipeptide. And hydrochloride salt forms naturally in your body every time you eat protein. The only people who would claim it's close to DDT are people who know the chemical symbol for Cl and C but very little else.

I think this is important so I'll put it in bold:

There is a very large anti-science contingent in this country whose greatest tools are lying and scaremongering. Quite often their scaremongering is picked up by well-meaning people as actual fact. Most often it has no basis in reality.

You can try to avoid chemicals, but chemicals are the building blocks of our world, so you'll have no luck. You may have a knee-jerk reaction to things that are not "natural" but for the most part these things are a boon to our lives. 150 years ago, people used to eat all-natural with no artificial ingredients or preservatives or colorings and they were FINE... right up until they died at age 35. Now we eat crap and never exercise and LIVE TWICE AS LONG because of very unnatural advancements in food and medicine.

If you want to read more about the urban legend of artificial sweeteners being dangerous, you can read this article at snopes that has links to some great articles from MIT, Dean Edell, Time Magazine, The American Council on Science and Health, and others:

http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/aspartame.asp

wosnes
Posts: 4168
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 3:38 pm
Location: Indianapolis, IN, USA

Post by wosnes » Sat Feb 09, 2008 1:02 pm

Here's my two cents worth on artificial sweeteners: They're artificial. They're not real food.

I believe that part of our health and weight problems come from the fact that we eat so much food that's food-like, but not real food.

I'm one of those who think that artificial sweeteners taste terrible. Beyond that, I think most people would be better off minimizing their intake of sugar (frequency and amount) than using artificial sweeteners.
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed but our power to do it is increased." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You are what you eat -- so don't be Fast, Easy, Cheap or Fake."

User avatar
gratefuldeb67
Posts: 6172
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2005 9:26 pm
Location: NY

Post by gratefuldeb67 » Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:06 am

"You can try to avoid chemicals, but chemicals are the building blocks of our world, so you'll have no luck."

Deadweight, I didn't say I was going to try to avoid all chemicals.

But, I will have very good luck avoiding those particular ones.

I'm not trying to avoid every chemical known to humanity :)
LOL
I was specifically saying those particular fake sweeteners.
I try as much as I can to chose non synthetic food.
That is my personal choice.
Feel free to consume them and believe they are okay.
I don't share that opinion.
Peace,
Debs
There is no Wisdom greater than Kindness

elizabeth333
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:45 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Post by elizabeth333 » Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:44 am

I was just thinking about this: I drink diet soda every day, and have had no success quiting this habit. It makes me feel better that there are books and other informational sources that say these sweeteners ARE o.k.. But I don't give my kids anything with artificial sweetner in it. It scares me to give it to my kids, so I guess deep down I know in my gut that it's not healthy. Call it mother's intuition...

User avatar
reinhard
Site Admin
Posts: 5806
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 7:38 pm
Location: Cambridge, MA
Contact:

Post by reinhard » Mon Feb 11, 2008 4:12 pm

I should have known better than to start a new thread about such a sensitive topic... we had a pretty heated discussion about it a couple of years ago. Though it was pretty gentle by web standards, it came as close as any here ever has to a "flame war."

So first off, THANK YOU ALL for remaining so civil here in spite of strong differences of opinion!

I'll respond quickly to just a few issues that were raised:

1. (most important) I do NOT want people who don't feel they can make it through N-days without diet soda to feel like they're aren't quite up to snuff. As I mention on the home page, "fake sugar" is NOT an S. You're "allowed" to eat it. I think it's better, for a number of reasons, not to eat fake sugar, but as St. Paul says "It is better to marry than to burn." -- if it's the best you can do, amen, do it. You can always graduate to the next level of dietary righteousness once you've got the basics down pat (or not).

2. deadweight is very right about looking critically at the sources for medical information on the net. Truth isn't democratic. Just because someone (even me!) or a lot of people say something is so doesn't make it true. Best is to examine the evidence yourself. Since this isn't always possible for a non-expert, second best is to consider the authority making the claims. This can be tricky, especially since some sources give themselves deceptively impressive names. But it's important.

A good, easy place to start is here:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez/

You still have to pay some attention to the sources, but it's a better filter than google.

3. It does seem like most of the anti-artificial sweetener claims floating around on the net are not from authoritative sources (but not all, do a search for "aspartame" on pubmed and you will find *some* scary looking stuff from reputable sources). The article I cited above does seem legit, but it's far from conclusive. That's enough for me, who can't stand the stuff anyway, but probably not a compelling reason in itself to quit if you genuinely like or need it.

Reinhard

wosnes
Posts: 4168
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 3:38 pm
Location: Indianapolis, IN, USA

Post by wosnes » Mon Feb 11, 2008 5:39 pm

reinhard wrote: 2. deadweight is very right about looking critically at the sources for medical information on the net. Truth isn't democratic. Just because someone (even me!) or a lot of people say something is so doesn't make it true. Best is to examine the evidence yourself. Since this isn't always possible for a non-expert, second best is to consider the authority making the claims. This can be tricky, especially since some sources give themselves deceptively impressive names. But it's important.
When it comes to research, anything can be proven. Be it artificial sweeteners or saturated fats or refined carbs, all can be "proven" to be harmful or (relatively) harmless. Just depends on how the research was done -- which depends in large part on what the purpose of the testing was and often who financed it. I think you have to get informed in order to make a decision for yourself.
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed but our power to do it is increased." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You are what you eat -- so don't be Fast, Easy, Cheap or Fake."

User avatar
Murphysraven
Posts: 158
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 12:37 am
Location: WA

Post by Murphysraven » Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:23 pm

As an avid diet soda drinker, I've been given many speeches by well meaning people in regards to how bad it is for me.

I had switched to diet soda because of my soda addiction to cut calories. This year I am slowly weaning myself away from diet soda as my main drink. Like sweets and snacks, I don't think I could do away with it forever.

I don't think there is ANY drink out there besides water that should be consumed all the time. I don't even buy all the horn tooting about tea being this huge health benefit.

Diet soda is just another one of those foods (drinks) that are toted as being the only reason people are having health/weight issues. When really I don't think thats the case.


That being said I had fallen off the wagon this last weekend and didn't drink water once. I am getting back on track this week and only had my morning diet pepsi, then switched to water.
When I asked for all things, so that I may enjoy Life, I was given Life, so that I may enjoy all things.

wosnes
Posts: 4168
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 3:38 pm
Location: Indianapolis, IN, USA

Post by wosnes » Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:50 am

Heard this on the news today:
Artificial sweetener tied to weight gain
Using an artificial, no-calorie sweetener rather than sugar may make it tougher, not easier, to lose weight, US researchers say.


Scientists at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, studied rats that were fed food with the artificial sweetener saccharin and rats fed food with glucose, a natural sugar.

In comparison to rats given yoghurt sweetened with glucose, those that ate yoghurt sweetened with saccharin went on to consume more calories and put on more weight and body fat.

The researchers said sweet foods may prompt the body to get ready to take in a lot of calories, but when sweetness in the form of artificial sweeteners is not followed by a large amount of calories, the body gets confused, which may lead to eating more or expending less energy than normal.

"The data clearly indicate that consuming a food sweetened with no-calorie saccharin can lead to greater body-weight gain and adiposity than would consuming the same food sweetened with high-calorie sugar," Purdue researchers Susan Swithers and Terry Davidson wrote in the journal, Behavioural Neuroscience, published by the American Psychological Association.

"Such an outcome may seem counterintuitive, if not an anathema, to human clinical researchers and health care practitioners who have long recommended the use of low- and no-calorie sweeteners as a means of weight control."

Other artificial sweeteners such as aspartame that also taste sweet but do not lead to the delivery of calories may have similar effects, the researchers said.

"Animals may use sweet taste to predict the caloric contents of food. Eating sweet noncaloric substances may degrade this predictive relationship," the researchers wrote.

"With the growing use of noncaloric sweeteners in the current food environment, millions of people are being exposed to sweet tastes that are not associated with caloric or nutritive consequences," the researchers added.

The research was the latest to examine the question of whether artificial sweeteners - used in many soft drinks and other foods - help or thwart those trying to lose weight. Various studies have offered mixed results.

The new research drew criticism from the food industry.

"This study oversimplifies the causes of obesity," Beth Hubrich, a dietitian with the Calorie Control Council, an industry association representing companies that make low- and reduced-calorie foods and beverages, said in a statement.

"The causes of obesity are multi-factorial. Although surveys have shown that there has been an increase in the use of 'sugar-free' foods over the years, portion sizes of foods have also increased, physical activity has decreased and overall calorie intake has increased," Hubrich added.

The council also said findings in animal studies may not be applicable to people, which the researchers acknowledged.

Davidson said by email the implication of the council's statement, "that they, too, are interested in the health of the public, seems insincere".

"If they were sincere, one might expect that they would be alarmed by findings from animal or human models suggesting that their products might be contributing to the obesity epidemic that continues to expand and do its damage," Davidson said.
While it's true that the causes of obestity are multifactorial, the report I heard also said diet foods may not help your diet in the long run and that the heaviest users of artificial sweeteners also tend to be the heaviest Americans.
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed but our power to do it is increased." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You are what you eat -- so don't be Fast, Easy, Cheap or Fake."

davestarbuck
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 5:18 am

Post by davestarbuck » Tue Feb 12, 2008 6:15 am

Don't believe everything on the internet...

The artificial sweeteners are safe... in moderation. I use sucralose a bit because it's the closest chemically to sucrose.

I'm not surprised about the findings of the study..

Some people rely on diet crap like diet cola and Snack Well cookies and all that other tripe because they feel like they are making an effort to improve there health. These people are the ones I fill 10 prescriptions for, a couple for diabetes, a couple for blood pressure, 1 or 2 for cholesterol, maybe some antidepressants, etc etc... If a person is on these types of medications, it indicates that there is something wrong with their metabolism.

When people ask me for advice on how they can stop taking all the meds, I always say, eat a variety of foods, with moderation, exercise a bit every day, and stop stuffing yourself with processed foods. They then look at me like I sprouted a third eyeball from my forehead. They don't want to hear "diet and exercise" or "loose weight". They want an easy answer or at least a convenient one.

It's not the artificial sweeteners causing the "metabolic syndrome" it's the behavior of the persons who have it.

-dave
Cut to size,file to fit, paint to match...

elizabeth333
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:45 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Post by elizabeth333 » Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:33 pm

Davestarbuck---But the mice were offered the same food, and the ones that had artificial sweetners ate more and gained more weight. The mice are behaving normally. The only change was the artificial sweetner in thier diet. Doesn't this mean that the sweetners may in fact be causing or AT LEAST contributing to our struggle with obesity?

davestarbuck
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 5:18 am

Post by davestarbuck » Tue Feb 12, 2008 4:24 pm

elizabeth333...

Rodent metabolism is markedly different than that of humans. Until this is proven in human beings I'll stick by my belief that bad habits are more likely to make you overweight than artificial sweeteners.

Everything in moderation....

People who drink multiple diet sodas per day and eat "diet" food, are not satisfying their nutritional needs. Thus they overindulge in so called "healthy foods" and intake far too many calories. Thus they get fat, and start down the metabolic pathways that lead to heart disease,diabetes,depression, anxiety, and a whole host of problems that make up "metabolic syndrome" Blaming artificial sweeteners for bad habits isn't productive. Eating nutritionally, exercising, and getting spiritually "in shape" (religion,meditation,etc) will have a profound positive results on your health vice worrying about the "small" things, like a little Sweet and Low in your iced tea 8) .

Don't sweat the small stuff !!! ;D

-dave
Cut to size,file to fit, paint to match...

User avatar
Murphysraven
Posts: 158
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 12:37 am
Location: WA

Post by Murphysraven » Tue Feb 12, 2008 4:27 pm

The researchers said sweet foods may prompt the body to get ready to take in a lot of calories, but when sweetness in the form of artificial sweeteners is not followed by a large amount of calories, the body gets confused, which may lead to eating more or expending less energy than normal.
I think Reinhard has posted before that he'd be suprised if you could eat alot of fake sugar, without reverting to real stuff.

I would say if you are forming the sweet habit with fake sugar, you're setting yourself up for failure with real sugar.

I think fake sugar is a real enabaler for people and can contribute to them eating more calories. But I don't think the fake sugar itself causes the weight gain.

I don't buy low fat cookies or sugar free candies. My S day treats are full fat and full flavor and I enjoy it, but I don't eat it everyday.

I think there is a very small amount of people who can drink diet soda all the time, and not run into issues with wanting to eat more. I've found in lowering my diet soda consuption and drinking water, I'm a lot less hungry and less prone to getting a sugar craving. Although I still enjoy my diet soda in moderation.
When I asked for all things, so that I may enjoy Life, I was given Life, so that I may enjoy all things.

Post Reply