Study shows artificial sweeteners linked to higher risk of heart disease | UK News

Artificial sweeteners “should not be considered a safe substitute for sugar” after academics found that their consumption was linked to a 9% higher risk of heart disease.

Researchers from the Sorbonne Paris Nord University in France also found that artificial sweetener consumption was associated with an almost 20 percent higher risk of conditions that affect blood flow to the brain.

The study examined the participants’ intake of sweeteners from all food sources including beverages, top sweeteners and dairy products, before comparing it to their risk of diseases. about their heart or circulation.

The researchers used more than 100,000 adults from France for the study published in the British Medical Journal.

The participants had an average age of 42 and 4/5 were female.

The researchers tracked their sweetener intake using dietary profiles.

Participants recorded everything they ate, including the brand that was used, for 24 hours, with diet diaries repeated three times over a six-month period – twice on weekdays and once on a weekend.

About 37% of the participants consumed artificial sweeteners.

During a median follow-up of 9 years, participants recorded 1,502 cardiovascular events.

This includes heart attacks, strokes, transient ischemic attacks (also known as mini-strokes), and angina – chest pain associated with poor blood flow to the heart muscle.

The researchers found that consuming artificial sweeteners was associated with a 9% higher risk of heart disease.

And when they looked at each disease specifically, they found that artificial sweetener consumption was associated with an 18 percent higher risk of cerebrovascular disease, a condition that affects blood flow to the brain.

One specific sweetener – aspartame – was associated with a 17% increased risk of stroke, while acesulfame potassium and sucralose were associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.

In a large, prospective cohort of French adults, artificial sweeteners (particularly aspartame, acesulfame potassium and sucralose) were associated with an increased risk of certain diseases, the authors write. cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and coronary”.

“The results suggest that artificial sweeteners may be a modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease prevention.

The findings indicate that these food additives, which are consumed daily by millions of people and present in thousands of foods and beverages, should not be considered a healthy and safe substitute. safe for the road, consistent with the current position of some health authorities.”

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Commenting on the study, Tracy Parker, senior dietitian at the British Heart Foundation (BHF), said: “Observational studies like these can only show an association and more research is needed. more to understand the link between artificial sweeteners and the risk of developing heart and circulatory system diseases.

“Most adults in the UK eat too much sugar, and this has been linked to health problems such as obesity and tooth decay.

“Artificial sweeteners are an attractive way to reduce sugar and before they can be added to foods in Europe, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) must approve their use. It’s a rigorous process, so you can feel confident they’re safe to eat.”

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