Calorie-free sweeteners not slimming

February 11, 2008 in Healthy Eating, Nutrition Topics in the News, Weight Management

Calorie-free sweeteners not slimming

Eating zero-calorie sweeteners like saccharin may lead to higher caloric intake and more weight gain, according to new research published today by U.S. scientists.

In this randomized crossover trial, psychologists from Purdue University fed one group of rats unsweetened yogurt for a few days, then yogurt sweetened with table sugar. Another group of rats had unsweetened yogurt for a few days, then yogurt sweetened with saccharin.

After five weeks, the rats in the saccharin group gained more weight than the group that consumed table sugar.

Although they were eating fewer calories, the saccharin-fed rats had a tendency to eat more and gain more weight than rats that ate table sugar.

Measures of body heat revealed a slower metabolic rate in the rats fed saccharin, a possible reason why they were gaining more weight.

Saccharin, sold as Sweet'N Low or Sugar Twin, is 300 times sweeter than table sugar. Poducts made with saccharin include: soft drinks, frozen desserts, canned fruits, jams and jellies.

The researchers believe that eating something sweet - regardless of the amount of calories - may trick the body into thinking that it's about to get some energy. Since calorie-free sweeteners provide no energy, the body gets confused, leading to triggers for high caloric intake or slowed metabolism. 


All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.