Articles, Blog

What Do Artificial Sweeteners Actually Do to Your Body?

September 10, 2019


Apparently, no calories does NOT equal no
consequences, and artificial sweeteners, like the kind you may find in diet drinks, may
be just as bad for you as sugar, with your brain and your gut responding in surprising
ways to that delicious, synthetic sweetness. The FDA has approved six artificial sweeteners
as a low-calorie or no-calorie options to help us curb things like obesity. So, they’re not sugar but studies have shown
that your body may still be reacting to them negatively. How is it processing these seemingly magical
compounds? The main theories come down to your brain
and your gut. Multiple studies have shown that sustained
artificial sweetener use can induce insulin resistance, and this probably involves your
brain. It could be when your tongue tastes something
sweet, your brain is expecting the physical presence of sugar, and tells your pancreas
to start producing insulin, which lets your body absorb the sugar. Only when there’s no sugar to absorb, you
still have the insulin in your body. Repeating this process every time you drink
a diet soda leads to insulin build-up with no place for it to go, and then, systemic
insulin resistance, the precursor to diabetes. Turns out, we can’t turn our brains off. It’s just trying to do its job, guys. Artificial sweeteners are anywhere between
200 to 20,000 times sweeter than table sugar, and aside from the insulin issue, we’re
still unsure how our taste receptors process these substitutes. Science does suggest, however, that your brain
can distinguish between the two. It knows when you’re eating real sugar,
and even though it still releases insulin in response to artificial sweeteners, they
light up a different neural reward pathway than real sugar. So at the same time that we’re exposing
our taste receptors to extremely, intensely sweet-tasting foods, These factors lead some
experts to say that we’re training our palate to crave sweeter and sweeter things while
our brain still isn’t receiving ‘true’ sugar satisfaction, so we’re just exacerbating
a sugar craving, not treating it. But it’s not just our brains, it could be
our guts too. Because, microbes!! Or at least a little bit. These faux sugars aren’t digestible, hence…no
calories. You literally just poop them out. But that means that those molecules just hang
out in your intestines, with certain microbes that can digest them. Those microbes can then trigger a ‘glucose
response’ leading to, you guessed it, insulin resistance. A changed gut microbiome in response to artificial
sweetener use could also produce hormonal changes in your body, quite possibly a hormone
that influences your appetite…and not in a good way. The researchers are careful to say, though,
that everyone’s microbiome is different, so the severity of these effects definitely
vary from person to person, and experts advocate a personalized approach to nutritional and
medicinal recommendations in this st area. And on top of all this, those who regularly
use artificial sweeteners may start to find healthy foods, even naturally sweet ones like
fruit, unpalatable because they’re so used to a more intense taste. Faux-sugar may help some diet-cola lovers
justify consuming extra calories that they wouldn’t otherwise, because they just drank
something with zero calories. And artificial sweeteners may prevent us from
associating a sweet taste with weight gain, training our brain to think we can eat whatever
we want with no repercussions. This is only the beginning of the ways that
artificial sweeteners may actually be contributing to the very epidemic they were supposed to
help fight: obesity, diabetes, and other weight-related diseases. So, that’s kinda nuts. We’re trying to bypass our body’s natural
mechanisms so we can eat super sweet stuff with nothing bad happening but it looks like
nature is not letting us get away with that. That information is a little tough to swallow,
but rest assured that we here at Seeker will always keep your science craving satisfied,
so subscribe so you can always decide what not to drink, and check out my other video
on how your gut controls you brain. Fun Fact: The first artificial sweetener was
discovered in a lab accident. The scientist spilled a food preservative
on his hand and forgot to wash his hands before lunch. Spoiler: it was sweet I’m Maren. Thanks for watching!

You Might Also Like

100 Comments

  • Reply No One July 14, 2018 at 11:04 am

    What's her name ? She looks sexy

  • Reply Jilles B July 14, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Or just drink water

  • Reply Mr Toxic July 14, 2018 at 11:39 am

    This shit is bullshit. Over past year I have lost 40 kilos from eating low carb ( aka no sugar ), and I have drinked tons and tons of coke zero and pepsi max. You seeker channel have lost my science status into some opinion based shitshow.

  • Reply Lima Funla July 14, 2018 at 11:55 am

    I love her makeup

  • Reply Pretender July 14, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    TBH, these are all conjecture. I'm not sure why a video was made about it without also cautioning that this is just conjecture. More research is needed and saying otherwise is irresponsible. People may make dietary decisions based on this video or justify going back to a sugary drink while not balancing it out with a more balanced diet.

  • Reply Brandon Lee Sanders July 14, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Just eat real sugar in moderation…
    Jesus Christ we over complicate EVERYTHING!

  • Reply lazy Perfectionist July 14, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    I used to drink diet coke because regular coke turned out to be too sweet and not sharp enough for my tastes. I was already relatively resistant to sweet things even as a child (thus never experiencing a sugar high, ever), so I mainly enjoyed other flavors instead not based on sweetness, because there was always that certain point where I could no longer taste sweet stuff in foods. The artificial sweetener did a bit of damage at first, enlarging the capillaries in my face was my first clue, to the point where I looked like a severe sunburn victim (and felt like one, too). I never experienced this with any other food or drink before I got into diet coke, so it was kind of obvious what caused it. The condition is called Rosacea, and things like broken blood vessels and pimples may also occur when it gets severe. I stopped when I realized diet coke was doing it to me, and I can't really enjoy most coke drinks anymore without the Rosacea flaring up violently.

    Now I just drink (regular) Ginger beer and coffee. Artificial sweeteners may be seen as a good idea, but I can assure you, its not the best idea.

  • Reply Curt Randall July 14, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    What about stevia products?

  • Reply Renan Kops July 14, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    You guys should base your videos on actual research papers and draw conclusions directly from them, not news articles. Just my two cents.

  • Reply JK 241 July 14, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    stevia doesnt satisfy me like sucrose or fructose

  • Reply Keith Wood July 14, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    So, maybe the answer is to reduce your sugar by half & make up the difference with an artificial sweetener, thus there is sugar in your system for the insulin to work on, etc..

  • Reply FlyLowLikeRylo July 14, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    I'm guessing you didn't discuss sugar alcohols (e.g. erythritol) because they aren't actually artificial, but at 6% the calories of sugar everyone that is interested in sugar substitutes should be aware of them.

  • Reply Sualeh Irfan July 14, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    No soda from now?

  • Reply Mohamed Beshr July 14, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    Why would anyone drink shitty soda anyway!

  • Reply Thomas Richardson July 14, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    I don't see anything convincing here, really as long as you're aware of what you eat and make sure you don't compensate lack of sugar with other foods , you're fine.

  • Reply Littletime July 14, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    They aren't as bad as sugar, they are worse

  • Reply Steven Blackford July 14, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    Guess what 1g sugar has 4calories,
    Guess what 1g aspartame has 4 calories,
    Aspartame is 400 times sweeter and u use 400times less so good bye calories…
    Also the sweeter u only metabolize 2% of it the rest is shat out… So hence its under 1cal a drink
    Also ur allowed to be within 10% of calories when labeling a product a lot in this case haha

  • Reply Josh Willard July 14, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    Paid by sugar companies

  • Reply Faran Khan July 14, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    Background music is quite disturbing

  • Reply Theyn Smith July 15, 2018 at 1:37 am

    So just reduce the amount of sugar and that's it?

  • Reply Geelar July 15, 2018 at 1:59 am

    I'd only care about these studies if its compared to actual sugar e.g. how much more does natural sugar generate insulin resistance compared to artificial sweetners etc.

    Just saying it out like that means very little in a practical sense relative to other diets.

  • Reply m0rthaus July 15, 2018 at 4:11 am

    As per other comments, this entire video is basically a BuzzFeed article. Catchy headline, barely any real content or context given

  • Reply yowandbm July 15, 2018 at 6:23 am

    The best presenter on the channel. Way to go

  • Reply Sam Trott July 15, 2018 at 9:45 am

    I always get an upset stomach when I drink sugar-free drinks

  • Reply Bernie Zelvis July 15, 2018 at 10:28 am

    Lots of maybes, think, possibilities, theorises, ‘some’ scientists, psychology and fact free conclusions.
    Reads more like a sugar industry paid for infotainment spot.

  • Reply ivan dimitrov July 15, 2018 at 11:28 am

    Eh I feel like this is full of shit. I've grown used to diet sodas/drinks/artificial sweeteners and now actual sugar drinks and desserts just taste TOO sweet to me. It's not the other way around lol…. and what about stevia? How come it is always forgotten in these videos? I know it's not artificial but it pisses me off it gets neglected so much. Just ban sugar already there are so many better alternatives.

  • Reply Darryl Hetherington July 15, 2018 at 11:30 am

    Now owned by BAYER. Monsanto's 2 biggest sellers – Nuta Sweet and Roundup…. When your product earns billions of dollars in profit, why would you admit it's killing people. Also the bringers of DDT and Agent Orange – Bless em….

  • Reply Ryan Lord A July 15, 2018 at 11:45 am

    OH VEY! Do not use artificial sweeteners, but actual cancer inducing sugar. It is good for you, really.

    /sarcasm

    Stevia rocks, in my subjective opinion!

    Only concrete, objective, factual information matters.

  • Reply Plastic Tree July 15, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    i agree– she is one smart sweet cookie

  • Reply Roll0112358 July 15, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    I don't get it. Artificial sweeteners taste so metallic to me.

  • Reply nightmisterio July 15, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    ASPARTAME! made of fecal matter from bacteria.

  • Reply David Chen July 15, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    the argument that zero-calorie sweeteners make you gain weight because you get cravings for real sugar is pretty damn lame. does that mean people are going to start getting sugar withdrawal sickness from sticking with artificial sweeteners? so your stomach's going to say, "Wait, whats this fake sugar shit? Because you duped me, now i'm going to increase your craving for real sugar even more." i don't understand this shit at all. if you're being disciplined, controlling your portions and counting your calories, this shouldn't be an issue. its the person thats the issue, not fake sugar

  • Reply Pernilla Hansson July 15, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    Stevia is better. It is sweet and natural, and no sugar in it.

  • Reply Chuck Dixon July 15, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    I just drink regular soda now just one 12oz can. I use to be a Diet Coke Addict. one 12 pack per day by myself. I do water and coffee or tea now. But mostly water.

  • Reply TheRealOne July 15, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    Lmao I’m glad Americans are FINALLY Learning about this 😂

  • Reply Fahad Summan July 15, 2018 at 11:12 pm

    I’ve been drinking two cans of “sugar free” soda almost daily for years 😩 I’m fucked

  • Reply Mahed Ahsan July 16, 2018 at 12:44 am

    So which one is less harmful? Regular coke or diet coke?

  • Reply mark of Dibella July 16, 2018 at 1:32 am

    Ha, it is very unlikely that artificial sugar will cause you to produce insulin so you can mention that, also you can’t state “aRtIfIcAl SuGaR iS tRaInInG oUr BrAiN tO wAnT sWeEtEr AnD sWeEtEr ThInGs”, that’s not significant because it will be no different from real sugar in that sense, however if you have any form of self control it is no problem. Nag and whine little fools but it is a low calorie option which does play into dieting regardless of what people say. If you use in moderation and have no pre existing conditions, you will be much better off consuming artificial sweetened drinks and gums than real sugar options. Also honey, honey, honey People are different than test mice who have been exposed to pure sweeteners equivalent to thousands of artificially sweetened sodas in a short period of time, no one will get cancer from the soda alone, you’d sooner suffer from acid intake and many other problems. Yeah water is better but soda is a tasty treat which I do find unnecessary but I hate the people who hastily grab a small bit of research and run with it.

    Ooo and I’m glad they didn’t mention it, 0 calorie sodas actually do have calorie and I hate it as an argument because it’s almost always less than about 10.

  • Reply Zeke D. July 16, 2018 at 4:34 am

    So what about Stevia?

  • Reply John Smith July 16, 2018 at 6:21 am

    I like your shirt.

  • Reply tam hill July 16, 2018 at 7:59 am

    The word " Artificial " is usually a good indicator.

  • Reply TheJociman July 16, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    at first I thought she was gonna sign language and speak at the same time. HER HANDS MOVE SO MUCH

  • Reply Forest Eagle July 16, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    I sugar crashed once from putting too much stevia in my drink

  • Reply n4rzul July 16, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    This is it. I'm done with Seeker. Your 3 minute blips of infotainment does way more harm than actually properly informing people and I will no longer be a part of it. So long and thanks for all the fish. /Unsubscribe

  • Reply ttu July 16, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    What about tooth decay? I bet sugar is worse… Or is it?

  • Reply 82 Luft July 16, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    What the hell, I still like Diet Coke

  • Reply Max Andersen July 17, 2018 at 1:30 am

    Data, we need data. Sources.

  • Reply Kinh Williams July 17, 2018 at 1:32 am

    I've been consuming heavy amounts of artificial sweeteners for a little over two decades now, daily. I'm now in my 40s. So far, nothing but I'll surely donate my body to science when I'm dead so they can see the ultra-long term effects of it.

  • Reply Stephen Parallox July 17, 2018 at 2:46 am

    What do Artificial sweeteners give you? SWEET SWEET Cancer!

  • Reply Eric jones July 17, 2018 at 5:08 am

    DONT TRUST ANYTHING SEEKER SAYS. BOGUS INFO TO GET VIEWS.

  • Reply Mass Debater July 17, 2018 at 6:19 am

    aspartame is naughty stuff

  • Reply D C July 17, 2018 at 6:34 am

    Wow if only the earth made healthy foods that were easy to digest and made for us to eat

  • Reply TrolledYouSilly July 17, 2018 at 8:02 am

    Sips diet drink

  • Reply A1MYT MCOC July 17, 2018 at 10:30 am

    And they taste like shit

  • Reply JoJo Ma July 17, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    I have a question.
    What happens if you consume artificial sweeteners along a heavy carb diet?

    For example, I eat a big mac(high on fat/carb/pretty much everything) along with diet coke.
    My body will still get its sugar from the burger (so no excess insulin in my body) and I don't need to worry about sugar in my drink.
    Will this still be an unhealthy choice?
    I've been doing that for a while, only drinking diet drinks along with heavy meals.

  • Reply hugy_festival July 17, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    I find these infos outdated, and incorrect.

  • Reply Falney July 17, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    So. Why isn't this study being laughed at the same way the conspiracy theorists that have been saying this for over 20 years were?

  • Reply Elias Knudsen July 17, 2018 at 11:27 pm

    Just drink water, it has been used since the first organism was formed on earth. Can’t be more simple…

  • Reply Amir Moradi July 17, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    What about sweeteners like stevia? Does our body release insulin for that too?

  • Reply Karen Amaya July 18, 2018 at 12:54 am

    What do you mean with "real sugar"?

  • Reply Ron Hernandez July 18, 2018 at 2:16 am

    that seemed a little one sided

  • Reply Sharkbait1986 July 18, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    nah, made me want less sweet tastes. sugar in coffee is much less than in the past.

  • Reply Raj Khanna July 18, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    can someone please send me the link of the background image that they are using in this vid

  • Reply Daniela Maya July 18, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    Can someone please link me to the studies?

  • Reply Phil July 18, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    My god, her vocal fryyyyyyy. Ack.

  • Reply Derek Jackson July 18, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    So you guys don’t give the amount you would have to ingest to create those effects, don’t explain the false positive in the studies (fat people that drink diet soda already are going to continue unhealthy eating, not the other way around), and then you guys fail to offer counter examples of studies showing no effect beyond plausible effects to the microbiome. Come on man.

  • Reply Prins Ricky July 19, 2018 at 1:28 am

    Aspartame cause blindness!

  • Reply robby banks July 19, 2018 at 4:20 am

    this is so cool

  • Reply Anton Lundmark July 19, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    Great host!

  • Reply Chris Shipman July 19, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    If your body produces too much insulin without sugar to process cause hypoglycemia?

  • Reply joaquin vega July 20, 2018 at 1:33 am

    I use honey in my milk…. never looked back

  • Reply Kyudo Kun July 21, 2018 at 12:09 am

    I've been drinking Iced tea with artificial sweetener for almost 10 years now. But despite of that I thank God cause according to my pre-employment Urine medical exam, the result is just fine/normal…

  • Reply Riyad Hazari July 21, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    now i know why my dads diabetes is out of control.

  • Reply Viva Max Channel July 21, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    Artificial sweetener = human made poison

  • Reply Ayeye Brazorf July 22, 2018 at 7:30 am

    there is no scientific proof that sweeteners cause insulin resistance as you keep claiming in your videos. Let me get away from this non scientific channel

  • Reply ddmarsh21 July 23, 2018 at 3:29 am

    Why only give speculations when there are plenty of studies out there testing these hypotheses?

  • Reply Lim 林Emil 佳恩 July 25, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    Someone should make a meme for this 😂😂 hard to swallow pills😂😂

  • Reply Ibrahim Ally July 25, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    I knew i t! Never touched the diet stuff (unless unavoidable) in my whole life

  • Reply Haivogel July 27, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    I was really concerned at first, because this video just presents theories and speculations from inconclusive studies as facts, which is really bad. But then I was relieved to find some critical comments here in the comment section, taking into account what the linked sources actually say. This video is misleading, I'm disappointed. So guys, remember to stay critical.

  • Reply Rajagopalan K July 27, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    Although all this research may be true, as of today there are no known clinically significant side-effects of sweeteners. They are safer than high fructose corn syrup which is the single, common cause of obesity in USA ,

  • Reply Margaret DiRienzo July 27, 2018 at 11:23 pm

    They cause constipation! After years of a severe problem with it, it disappeared a few months after abstaining. Evidently, they line the digestive tract and can't be absorbed. Took months to scrape away my 40+ years of them!

  • Reply nobbie01 July 29, 2018 at 6:27 am

    Somehow the wording in this video seems a bit biased?

  • Reply Throttle Dude July 30, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    This video wouldn't explain why but sweeteners that have Maltodextrin or Dextrin in them trigger insulin. I just heard about it in one of Dr. Eric Berg DC's YouTube videos.

  • Reply Joven Noble August 1, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    Well shoot man, I'm addicted to pop and I made the change to diet. (Slashing Wrists)…

  • Reply The Yangem August 7, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    What about soda's that dont contain either ?

  • Reply Tina Flintstone August 15, 2018 at 11:39 pm

    So… now I have to research what insulin resistance is. Um… thanks?

  • Reply Joseph J M Redner August 17, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    200 to 2,000 times sweeter huh? Ask a kid if he prefers a regular coke or a diet coke and see how much sweeter he thinks the diet one is. Everyone already knows the answer….he thinks the diet one tastes like sadness and misery and the real sugar one tastes like a day without school.

    Sweetness measurement is like bitterness measurement which is measured in IBU's International Bitter Units….something can technically measure higher but taste much less bitter. Testing chemical constituent levels and inferring levels in a lab isn't the same as the feels like on the tongue. People universally prefer real sugar to artificial sugar and it is well known that many people never can develop a taste for artificial sweetners. Because they universally taste less sweet.

    There are so many maybes and could be's in this video it is almost like one of the workable fusion, other dimension, multiverse, wormhole or warp speed videos in that it it hits the ear like science fiction that could in pure theory one day actually work and be non-fiction, but today, right now it just doesn't happen that way.

  • Reply James Collins August 19, 2018 at 11:58 pm

    If a person already has diabetes what effects do these non calorie sweeteners have on their biology? Is it a measurable difference in how much more insulin they have to take or has that been looked into do you know? Great video keep it up!

  • Reply Zulficar hamid September 21, 2018 at 10:42 am

    Honey is best sweet

  • Reply N/a N/A October 19, 2018 at 6:00 am

    why change something that has worked for thousands of years

  • Reply CrythornMadness October 20, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    This woman sounds just like laci green, its really jarring.

  • Reply Nick Chan January 13, 2019 at 5:43 am

    There are REAL sugars that are zero calories and taste EXACTLY like normal sugar,for example,L-glucose (also know as (2S,3R,4S,5S)-2,3,4,5,6-pentahydroxyhexanal).

  • Reply SrmthfgRockLee February 17, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    01:47 EXHASTURBATING….dirty word!

  • Reply TNT MUSIC STUDIOS February 26, 2019 at 5:24 pm

    Good the cure is sugar

  • Reply Knightonagreyhorse April 2, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    I suspect much of the "sugar high" to be triggered by the taste receptors and not the metabolism so maybe artificial sweeteners are not that bad if all you crave is a mood booster, which sugar is.

  • Reply hImAnK aMbAsHtA April 7, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    I can't able to concentrate on anything, she looks so cute in her glasses 😛

    Gotta rewatch it lol!

  • Reply GAURAV KOHAD April 8, 2019 at 7:11 am

    Anyone to tell me what if , I TOOK EXCESS OF ALITAME ?
    I COULDN'T FIND IT'S ANSWER ANYWHERE.

  • Reply Richard Deese August 24, 2019 at 8:55 am

    In college, they teach you a (sort of) joke idea to conceptualize the 3 laws of thermodynamics. It goes as follows: 1) You can't win. 2) You can't break even. And, 3) You can't get out of the game. Who knew that these unbreakable laws also applied to dieting? It's just not fair, I tell ya! Not fair at all. Sometimes I think the only way to lose weight is to quit your job, devote 12 hours a day to exercise, & stop eating all together. Either that, or have some evil guy curse you with, "*Thinner!* 𝙍𝙞𝙠𝙠𝙞 𝙏𝙞𝙠𝙠𝙞.

  • Reply Richard Deese August 24, 2019 at 10:05 am

    NOTE: While this list can hardly be exhaustive (of course), I think you should have mentioned Rebinia. It's steviol glycoside, or rebaudioside A; it's 200x sweeter than sugar (which is a common sweetness level); and it comes in granulated form, which can be used as a normal sweetener for drinks, etc. It can also be substituted 1:1 in baking, and is non-caloric as well. [Hey, since they're all bad for you (as it turns out per this video), we may as well include a nice popular one that's handy.] I use it to sweeten tea and Kool-Aid. Coca-Cola actually owns the exclusive rights to use it in beverages, but it's sold in re-sealable pouches (like shredded cheese) as Stevia. It's also sold as Truvia and as PureVia. Honestly, it's the only one I like; can't stand the others! 𝖙𝖆𝖛𝖎.

  • Reply Richard Deese August 24, 2019 at 10:22 am

    P.S. – And no, I don't work for any of those companies. Never did. Just like the stuff, that's all. I'm a super-taster. Can't fool me. I can identify sweeteners by taste. I can distinguish between Coke, Pepsi, and RC… blindfolded. That's just the way it is. 𝖙𝖆𝖛𝖎.

  • Leave a Reply