With so many health-conscious consumers on the lookout for lower-calorie alternatives to sugar, zero-calorie sweeteners are becoming increasingly popular. But are they really as safe as they seem?
The study, which was released in the journal Nature Medicine, found that people with pre-existing risk factors for heart disease, such as diabetes, were twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke if they had the highest amounts of erythritol in their blood.
What could be causing this association? It’s not entirely clear, but one possible explanation is that artificial sweeteners may interfere with the body’s natural ability to regulate blood sugar levels.
When blood sugar levels are not properly regulated, it can lead to an increased risk of stroke or heart attack. Another possible explanation is that artificial sweeteners may cause inflammation in the body, which could lead to cardiovascular disease. Some studies suggest that artificial sweeteners may also increase the risk of obesity, which is a risk factor for stroke and heart attack.
Dr. Robert Segal, founder of Manhattan Cardiology commented, “This study shows an association between erythritol and one’s risk of cardiovascular disease. Just because a product boasts that it has “zero calories”, it does not mean it is healthy. Regulatory agencies need to determine the causation and the safety of these artificial sweeteners as these products have become ubiquitous. It can prove to be more dangerous than we thought.”
Overall, the evidence regarding the relationship between zero-calorie sweeteners and stroke risk is mixed. While some studies have suggested a link, others have found no evidence of an association. It is important to remember that moderation is key when it comes to consuming any type of food or beverage and that a balanced and varied diet is essential for maintaining good health. If you are concerned about your risk of stroke, speak with your healthcare provider to determine what steps you can take to reduce your risk.