Artificial sweeteners have been hailed as a guilt-free alternative to those who over-indulge on sugary snacks. Critics wondered about the possible trade-offs.
However long that list looked before, you can add a few new items to it, and for anyone thinking of promoting them as a ‘safe’ alternative for their children, you may want to pay particularly close attention to a study published in JCI insight.
Since so many people with heavy children have switched to foods with artificial sweeteners, a rodent study was designed to look into the potential impact that the normalization of artificial sweeteners could have at an early age. As you read on, keep in mind that LCS is the acronym used for low-calorie sweeteners.
Spoiler, it wasn’t good. The study used two of the most common sweeteners now in use, and one that whose use is in decline. Results for each kind of artificial sweetener were similar enough that they were grouped.
“Overall, early-life exposure to each of these 3 sweeteners produced comparable effects on energy balance, sugar-motivated behaviors, and memory function, and results are, therefore, combined into a single LCS group in primary figures”
You can follow the link if you are interested in the jargon-heavy explanation of these sweeteners on the processing of glucose, and future consumption of sugars, but we want to direct our readers’ attention to a particular section of the study’s conclusions:
“Our study shows in adolescent animals that more limited, and voluntary exposure to LCS at the ADI level leads to hippocampal-dependent memory deficits in adulthood, as both males and females had impaired episodic memory in the NOIC task and LCS-exposed male rats were also deficient in spatial working memory in the Barnes Maze task.
So before you offer some little butterball in your life a diet soda, convinced you are doing them a favor, think again.
You might even be making things worse.
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