Science Shows Diet Sweeteners Increase Hunger

Are You Hungry All The Time? Science Shows Diet Sweeteners Increase Hunger. Why do millions of people ingest a toxic chemical like aspartame everyday? I believe that it is because people have been brainwashed into thinking aspartame will keep their weight down and is, thus, good for their health. But if you, like most people, stay hungry after eating a sugar-free snack or meal, many scientific studies show the physical reasons why you don't feel full.

Aspartame has been shown in laboratory studies to create changes in insulin levels called a "cephalic phase insulin response." A cephalic response is a digestive reaction triggered in the brain by the taste, smell, sight or thought of any food. Your entire digestive system, from your mouth to your colon, can be affected by these messages. Changes in cephalic phase responses such as salivation, gastric acid production and liver metabolism can alter normal appetite.

Additionally, studies prove that you stay hungry on a sugar-free, chemical diet because:

  1. aspartame penetrates the brain
  2. this penetration suppresses serotonin
  3. then you crave carbohydrates

Michael G. Tordoff, Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, University of California at Davis, has published several studies showing that artificial sweeteners can:

  1. increase hunger, short-term food intake, and cravings
  2. affect blood sugar levels, which can be especially dangerous to people with diabetes or epilepsy
  3. cause fluid retention
  4. increase cellulite
  5. contribute to weight gain

In one study, he found that aspartame in chewing gum increased hunger due to oral stimulation by the added chemicals. His study also showed a gender-related sweetness response, which explains why certain people feel "ravenous" after consuming aspartame-containing products, while others do not.

A sweet taste triggers your brain to expect calories and carbohydrates (incoming sugar). When you fake out your body and nutrients aren't delivered, the body still activates a "hunger response," which then creates a need for food.

Another study by Tordoff and Friedman showed that test animals had the urge to eat more food after ingesting artificial sweeteners, lasting up to 90 minutes. They documented that when blood levels for insulin production were normal, the animals consumed more food than the ones who did not eat artificial sweeteners. The result: fat rats.

Other research also reports appetite stimulation caused by a diet of chemical sweeteners. In human aspartame studies, scientists have duplicated this urge to overeat. Blundel and Hill documented that "most artificial sweeteners enhance appetite and increase short-term food intake." They reported: "After ingestion of aspartame, the volunteers were left with a residual hunger compared to what they reported after eating glucose (complex sugar). This lingering hunger leads to increased food consumption." The result: fat humans.

To me, this proves that the brain retains the urge to eat when the taste buds are stimulated without "real" nutrients having actually entered the body! You eat and eat diet processed food products, but remain hungry all the time.

Aspartame is a neuro-excitotoxin, which is a chemical that over-stimulates brain cells. This neurotoxin gets the brain "wound up", and this triggers a false appetite. This may or may not change the taste of your food, but your appetite becomes over-stimulated and you tend to eat more at each meal and/or binge-snack because you are hungry all the time.

Those extra calories you save with that diet cola won't make much difference if you eat too many chocolate chip cookies because you're starving. If constantly using diet sweeteners is actually increasing your appetite, why use them then? Common sense tells me that proper diet and exercise are more beneficial in losing body fat and maintaining your proper weight. Even if you believe that artificial sweeteners help your dieting, is this worth risking your health?

Sandra Cabot, M.D., states this about weight gain using aspartame: "I have been a medical doctor for 23 years and have clinical and research interests in the liver and metabolism. I have been consulted by thousands of patients with weight problems, hormonal imbalances, fatty liver, sluggish metabolism and chronic ill health. In the interests of public health, I am making a position statement concerning the use of the artificial sweetener aspartame sold most commonly under the names of NutraSweet® and Equal®.

"After having been consulted by thousands of overweight people suffering with problems concerning the liver and/or metabolism, I can assure you that aspartame will not help you in any way, indeed it will help you to gain unwanted weight. This has been my experience, and there are logical reasons to explain the fattening and bloating effects of aspartame."

According to Dr. Cabot, when you ingest aspartame, your liver cells have less energy available for fat burning and metabolism, which results in fat storing. Excess fat may build up inside your liver cells causing "fatty liver" and making it extremely difficult to lose weight. Gosh, it makes my mouth water just thinking about it. No, sorry - that's just a cephalic phase insulin response triggered at the thought.


The percentage of overweight children has tripled in the past two decades, and the percentage of obese adults has doubled. Even when we factor in bad health habits and poor lifestyle choices, we must acknowledge this weight gain coincides with the introduction of NutraSweet/Equal® over 20 years ago. Coincidence? I don't believe in coincidence, and I strongly believe aspartame use and weight gain are directly related. When aspartame first flooded the "sugar-free" market, independent research scientists warned us that aspartame will cause weight gain--and look at us now.


Posted April 2008 | Permanent Link

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