Friday, September 19, 2014

So, maybe artificial sweeteners are "bad for you" after all

Artificial sweeteners may indeed mess with the body’s ability to metabolize glucose and might tend to induce Type 2 diabetes if overused, according to a recent study reported by Kenneth Chang on p A4 of the Thursday New York Times, here

It seems counterintuitive that a substance with no calories could have a metabolic effect.  But “health nuts” have said this for years.  I remember, back at one of Dan Fry’s “Understanding” conventions in 1976 in Arizona, a speaker claimed that ‘one coke” could destroy your psychic abilities. 

The fact that this could have anything to do with glucose and the pancreas (that is, that the pancreas could be affected somehow by some artificial sweeetners) is of interest.  Maybe the story will get the attention of young researcher Jack Andraka. 
Actually, Type 2 diabetes occurs in large part because insulin-receptors on many body cells “wear out” with age and misuse.  It rather like the mechanism that makes a computer get slower with time.  I remember those workplace walkthroughs in Dallas in the 1980s. with plenty of coffee and sugary doughnuts (and employee would get to go out and do the “doughnut run”), leading to plenty of headaches and hypoglycemia.   

Update: Sept. 26

A study published by the Cleveland Clinic (link) and broadcast with a promotional tweet  maintains that regular use of soda drinks, even if with artificial sweeteners, increases the lifetime stroke risk by 16%.

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