For years, diet sodas have been touted as a healthy alternative to regular sodas, but scientists recently found that artificial sweeteners may be a risk factor for diabetes. Scientists studied a control and experimental group–mice drinking plain water, and mice drinking water that contained artificial sweeteners. They found that the mice consuming artificial sweeteners showed marked glucose intolerance because the artificial sweeteners alter the balance of gut microbes.
Researchers also conducted a trial with 400 people and discovered that those who consumed artificial sweeteners had “markers” for diabetes like higher blood sugar levels and glucose intolerance. Scientists leading the study said that artificial sweeteners may exacerbate glucose intolerance and diabetes; instead of being a healthy substitute, artificial sweeteners could make diabetes worse. The sweeteners used in the study were saccharin, sucralose and aspartame. Next time you reach for a diet soda, consider a potentially healthier alternative like sparkling water.