T Nation

Artificial sweeteners and insulin

Recently, Bill Roberts wrote that acesulfame causes an insulin release. I’ve searched everywhere, but can’t find any data on various artificial sweeteners and insulin response. Curious about acesulfame, aspartame, stevia (not really artificial I suppose), and sucralose. Anyone have any input?

Actually anything that tastes sweet can cause insulin release. Even though these products don’t contain any calories it’s kind’ve a conditioned psychological response by the body.

Kelly, are you sure aspartame does? I haven’t
looked into it extensively at all, but one
source said it did not (in rats.)

If they did wouldn’t that be beneficial? I don’t think it works that way. Diet Cokes aren’t very anabolic.

I’ve heard anecdotally that the sweet taste can stimulate the release of insulin, but that would suggest that there was a link between the taste buds and the pancreas somehow. I don’t buy it. I always thought insulin release was related to blood levels of glucose. I don’t know of any study linking insulin release and any of the artificial sweeteners.

Well there was a study done on nurses (not sure where to find it) that showed the single biggest predictor of weight gain in the group was the amount of diet soft drinks one consumed per day. As for aspartame directly increasing insulin I think I remember Dr. Atkins mentioning this in his book. It’s not something I’m 100% sure about though.

so what happens if you are on a ketogenic diet and drink lots of diet coke. Wouldn’t this cause a problem with low blood sugar?

Kelly, did they consider the amount of Snickers and Mars bars eaten by the nurses prior to drinking diet soda? :slight_smile: If you are eating maintenance calories or below maintenance, there is no artificial sweetener in this world that would make you fat. :slight_smile:

Check out http://www.eatright.org/adap0598.html
it is the website of ‘The American Dietetic Association’ and lists loads of studies on sweeteners. It also has a chart of sweeteners and sugars and there relative glycemic response. Quite interesting.

Thanks for the website link, Marv. A good one.

I notice that they claim opposite conclusions for glycemic response of aspartame and acesulfame than was reported for effect on insulin release in rats. But in their discussion, they give no evidence. I wonder
if perhaps they did not simply assert it based on caloric content – aspartame has caloric
content, whereas acesulfame did not. In any case, one can’t tell from the webpage what the basis of the claims is, or any specifics
on glycemic effect (actual quantitation of it.)

Although one of their references – not cited though in the discussion of aspartame – may have the data: Wolf-Novak L, Stegink L, Brummel M, Person TJ, Filer LT Jr, Bell EF, Ziegler EE,
Krause WL. Aspartame ingestion with and without carbohydrate in phenylketonuric and
normal subjects: effect on plasma concentrations of amino acids, glucose, and insulin.
Metabolism. 1990;39:391-396.

What about phenylalanine? isnt that used as a sweetener in equal? does that cause an insulin burst also?

Kind of off topic, I know, but I didn’t want to start a new thread. I’ve never had Splenda, but when a recipe calls for it… can it be replaced with Nutrisweet. My buddy keeps telling me it’s the same thing… is it? I ought to just go to the store and get some, but I’ve got bucketloads of Nutrisweet around here. Thanks.