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Effects of Artificial Sweetener Consumption on Glucose Homeostasis and Its Association with Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity

Authors Alsunni AA

Received 30 July 2020

Accepted for publication 10 September 2020

Published 6 October 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 775—785

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJGM.S274760

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Ahmed Abdulrahman Alsunni

Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence: Ahmed Abdulrahman Alsunni
Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, PO Box 1982, Dammam 31441, Saudi Arabia
Tel +966 13 3331188
Fax +966 13 3330220
Email aalsunni@iau.edu.sa

Abstract: Artificial sweeteners (ASs) are popular for their characteristic property of providing sweetness with few or no calories. They are frequently consumed to minimize energy intake and to combat obesity and its related adverse health effects. However, since their introduction, concerns have been raised regarding their safety. Extensive research has designed a number of studies to evaluate potential adverse effects, the top among them being interference with glucose homeostasis. Numerous studies have tried to prove that AS may contribute to the development of metabolic diseases including obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D). The matter remains controversial and a favorite topic of research. The purpose of this review was to identify and discuss the published articles that have examined the effects of AS consumption on glucose homeostasis and its association with T2D and obesity. It was observed that studies have failed to present concrete evidence to establish a link between AS consumption and glucose homeostasis, obesity, or T2D. Most studies have flaws in the study design resulting in haphazard claims with no follow-up studies to confirm reliability. It is concluded that while it is not possible to claim that ASs are metabolically inert, at the moment the haphazard evidence is not enough to link their use with glucose metabolism, obesity or T2D. There is a need to design cohort and case–control studies with reliable sample sizes to establish a cause–effect relationship or to exclude claims of safety problems.

Keywords: artificial sweeteners, glucose, diabetes, obesity

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