It’s well known that “zero calorie” artificial sweeteners cause weight gain. As it turns out, they may also cause diabetes, and the same study that brings us that information also may begin to explain the weight gain link. Compared to the usual superficial diet studies, this is an unusually thorough study, looking at both rodents and humans and at multiple pathways of cause and effect, and it is summarized here at NBC News:
The bottom line is that in both mice and humans, and in both habitual and new users, all artificial sweeteners studied had the same effect on gut bacteria, and it wasn’t a favorable effect. Just one week of artificial sweeteners created the familiar biomarkers for diabetes, according to the researchers. People are already moving away from diet sodas in large numbers because of the way they cause weight gain, and the diabetes link identified in the new study is another reason to avoid diet soda and artificial sweeteners. In light of these new findings, diet experts are saying the best beverage to use as a starting point is water.