ATLANTA (October 8, 2014) — The safety and benefits of low-calorie sweeteners, such as aspartame, saccharin and sucralose, have long been verified by regulatory agencies and health organizations around the world, including the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association.
However, a recent segment featured on The Dr. Oz Show questions the use of artificial sweeteners based on a new study published in Nature which alleged that low-calorie sweeteners cause disruptions in gut bacteria which can then lead to increased risk for obesity and diabetes. During his segment and interview with Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Oz failed to mention the many limitations in the study, which were recently outlined by the Council (full statement available here). As noted in the Council’s statement, the results of theNature study should be interpreted with caution as the study featured a small sample of mice that were fed unrealistic amounts of sweeteners, all points that Dr. Oz failed to note on his show.
Health authorities continue to agree that low-calorie sweeteners can be used as tools for weight loss and maintenance. Consumers should note, however, that there is no magic bullet and that proper diet and exercise are also necessary for weight and diabetes management.