Artificial Sweeteners

Don't fool the brain!
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Some bodybuilders may think that using artificial sweeteners can help curb the sugar cravings while dieting, but a new study has found no such effect.

When researchers blocked sugar receptors in mice, they found that, while the natural sugar glucose bound to the receptors despite the block, artificial sweeteners like those found in diet sodas were unable to bind to the receptors. The brain’s dopamine reward system responded to glucose but not to the artificial sweetener sucralose, as well. Remember, dopamine is the body’s reward system, so in essence, one can overindulge in artificial sweeteners due to the lack of dopamine response. Researchers also found that post-artificial sweetener ingestion, dopamine levels remained the same as pre-ingestion levels, which stands in contrast to the rise in dopamine levels afer the mice had consumed glucose.

Despite popular belief, artificial sweeteners do not work as appetite suppressants, and trying to use them as such can lead to overcompensation in caloric intake later.

The moral of the story: If you’re dieting and have a glucose craving, artificial sweeteners are a poor choice. Instead of consuming those when your body’s waiting for calories and your glucose levels are dropping, the research suggests you may want to use artificial sweeteners at times when your body’s less likely to notice the lack of calories. Science proves once again that you can’t fool Mother Nature with artificial substances. - FLEX

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