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Artificial sweeteners are synthetic (lab made) chemicals that have very similar chemical structures to naturally occurring sweeteners. Because they share a similar structure, they active similar pathways in our bodies. However, the slight change in structure results in our body’s inability to digest/absorb them for metabolic use. Thus, they carry no energetic (caloric) value. There is a lot of mixed research as to what exactly they affect within the body. I’m on one of these research teams. It appears that in moderation, they are safe. Though they may have upregulation and downregulation effects on some metabolic pathways in the human body. Much more extensive research is needed to identify a sound answer. Many of the studies you will come across today used “supersaturated” concentrations of these sweeteners on mice (think drinking 40 diet cokes in a day) and can be misleading to the layman.
TLDR: more research is needed
Well sucralose is sugar except it was an extra molecule connected to it so you can’t digest it
also do they trigger an insulin response? what about natural sweeteners like stevia? i’m interested for intermittent fasting purposes
I can’t speak for all of them but my understanding is that some of them work by activating the taste receptors for sweetness, as sugar does, but do not contain nutritional value or calories, like the glucose that is broken down from carbohydrates and sugars.
some artificial sweeteners do resemble sugar(s) but others absolutely do not, like the aspartame example mentioned below- yes it is composed of two amino acids but is not a normal didpeptide at all, since it not joined with the same type of peptide bond that we do see between aminos in nature. In fact amino acids are in the protein family, and not the carb’ sugar family at all. As your body metabolises aspartame, not only phenylalanine is released (one of the aminos) but also methanol, a type of alcohol which is poisonous, also called wood alcohol.
Splenda or sucralose is a tri chlorinated sucrose molecule making it an organochloride, and a close chemical cousin of many pesticides. The tri chlorination renders it about 200x sweeter than sugar, so only minute quantities are needed to provoke a sweet reaction on our taste buds. Even in tiny quantities it seems to kill good bacteria in our gut. Not surprising for an organochloride.
There are many chemicals, both natural and synthetic which taste sweet yet are not sugars at all. Licorice root, stevia herb and monk fruit (lo han guo in Chinese) all have very sweet non caloric compounds. I have seen research on stevia that it actually promotes healthy blood sugar, fighting diabetes and hypertension.