Why artificial sweeteners can increase appetite
:hmmm:  Well, this study and some related ones too, used sucralose or Splenda in their studies. Sucralose is 'backward' sugar, chemically. A mirror image of sugar, as it were. I wonder if the body, other than in insulin response, acts on it as it does sucrose or regular sugar. In these studies cited, the brain has an interesting response and action as a result of consuming this chemical in rat and fly brains. Exact same response and result is found in both creatures, so man is assumed to be so as well. But what about that response to a 'backward' aligned molecule of sugar? If stevia or saccharin or even aspartame were used, would the response be the same? These chemicals only taste sweet, but they in no way resemble sugar chemically.

There may be other issues with these other chemicals, no doubt, but as to this phenomena reported, I wonder if they would produce a same response as sucralose.

Interesting results anyway.



Why artificial sweeteners can increase appetite

Published today in the prestigious journal Cell Metabolism, the results shed light on the effects of artificial sweeteners on the brain in regulating appetite and in altering taste perceptions.

Researchers from the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research have identified a new system in the brain that senses and integrates the sweetness and energy content of food.

"After chronic exposure to a diet that contained the artificial sweetener sucralose, we saw that animals began eating a lot more," said lead researcher Associate Professor Greg Neely from the University of Sydney's Faculty of Science.

"Through systematic investigation of this effect, we found that inside the brain's reward centres, sweet sensation is integrated with energy content. When sweetness versus energy is out of balance for a period of time, the brain recalibrates and increases total calories consumed."

In the study, fruit flies that were exposed to a diet laced with artificial sweetener for prolonged periods (more than five days) were found to consume 30 percent more calories when they were then given naturally sweetened food.

"When we investigated why animals were eating more even though they had enough calories, we found that chronic consumption of this artificial sweetener actually increases the sweet intensity of real nutritive sugar, and this then increases the animal’s overall motivation to eat more food," said Associate Professor Neely.

Billions of people worldwide consume artificial sweeteners and they are prescribed as a tool to treat obesity, despite little being known until now about their full impact on the brain and in regulating hunger.

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