Findings Suggest Low-Cal Sweeteners Pose No Increased Diabetes Risk

Sweetener’s association refutes a negative correlation at the recent European Diabetes Association meeting.

Responding to a press release presenting conclusions from a study by Young et al, presented at the 53rd annual European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), the International Sweeteners Association (ISA) issued its own statement to draw attention to what it characterized as the “overwhelming body of evidence,” including studies from the same researchers, demonstrating low-calorie sweeteners do not impact glucose control.

According to ISA, the researcher’s public statements failed to report the outcomes of a “considerable” number of studies (including those published by the same authors) and found no impact from low-calorie sweeteners on patients with diabetes, as well as those not afflicted by the disease. ISA said that the collective evidence from well-designed human studies showed the substances had little effect on total insulin secretion, glucose uptake and glucose utilization, either by effects on incretins or gut hormones.

Another interesting aspect of ISA’s review of studies covering the impact of low-calorie sweeteners is that these flavor enhancers offer beneficial effects in post-prandial glucose metering. According to the European Food Safety Authority: "Consumption of foods with low calorie sweeteners instead of sugar induces a lower blood glucose rise after their consumption compared to sugar-containing foods."

ISA explained that low-calorie sweeteners do not increase risk and, on the contrary, can help provide people who need to control their glucose the means to avoid sugar. According to the organization, this aligns with the fact that low-calorie sweeteners contribute no carbohydrates to the diet. “In the 2017 guidelines 'Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes', “ noted ISA, “the American Diabetes Association supports that "non-nutritive sweeteners have the potential to reduce overall calorie and carbohydrate intake."


Steve Kuehn

Steve offers the life science industry insight and perspective from his more than 30 years of editorial, corporate and agency communications experience. Drawing from tenure as a lead communicator and media relations director for one of world’s largest technology and engineering companies, as well the editorial leadership of industry-leading B2B journals serving the energy, transportation and pharmaceutical sectors, including Pharmaceutical Manufacturing magazine, Steve delivers brand strategy, market-moving content and decision support. Steve holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio University.