Milken Institute School of Public Health Poster Presentations (Marvin Center & Video)

Title

Investigating Effects of Low-Calorie Sweetener Consumption on Metabolic Dysregulation

Poster Number

76

Document Type

Poster

Status

Undergraduate Student

Abstract Category

Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

Keywords

Low calories sweeteners, Metabolic Dysregulation, Metabolic Inflammatory Biomarkers

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Consumption of low–calorie sweeteners (LCS)—including acesulfame-potassium, aspartame, saccharin and sucralose—has increased in the US over the past decade, mainly through LCS containing beverages. Recent studies have reported 25% of adolescents and 30% of adults consume LCS daily. This increase in LCS consumption is likely to continue, as foods and beverages containing LCS are advertised as healthier alternatives to products high in sugar. Prior studies have shown that when rodents are exposed to LCS for a prolonged time period, they develop metabolic abnormalities. However the majority of human studies have only looked at the effects of single-dose LCS ingestion on metabolic parameters. The goal of this study is to investigate the LCS–induced changes in at-risk adolescents and young adults under conditions that reflect real life LCS consumption.

METHODS: Ten females between the ages of 18 and 25, who were overweight or had mild to moderate obesity (a BMI between 25 and 35 kg/m2) were enrolled in a longitudinal study design. Individuals were selected to represent a population that is already metabolically vulnerable and likely to use LCS for weight loss. Participants served as their own controls and the following were measured using fasted blood samples collected before and after 8 weeks of three times daily diet soda (containing sucralose and acesulfame-potassium) consumption: fasting glucose levels, HOMA-IR, Leptin, Adiponectin, TNF-alpha, hs-CRP, triglyceride and HDL levels. Anthropometric and dietary data were also collected.

RESULTS: Eight participants completed the eight week study. Given our small sample size, there were no statistically significant differences in any of the metabolic or inflammatory biomarkers measured when comparing baseline and post-intervention values. However, there was a trend towards increased HOMA-IR and leptin, driven largely by changes observed for a single participant. Observed changes in biomarker profiles before and after the intervention were highly variable across study participants.

CONCLUSIONS: Given the massive variability in responses across study participants, comparing average values for all eight participants before or after the intervention is likely inaccurate for describing LCS effects. Further analyses to evaluate potential factors associated with ‘responders’ and ‘non-responders’ are warranted to determine whether some individuals may be more susceptible to LCS-induced metabolic effects. Our results also highlight the urgent need for future studies testing a larger sample of metabolically at-risk individuals.

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Investigating Effects of Low-Calorie Sweetener Consumption on Metabolic Dysregulation

BACKGROUND: Consumption of low–calorie sweeteners (LCS)—including acesulfame-potassium, aspartame, saccharin and sucralose—has increased in the US over the past decade, mainly through LCS containing beverages. Recent studies have reported 25% of adolescents and 30% of adults consume LCS daily. This increase in LCS consumption is likely to continue, as foods and beverages containing LCS are advertised as healthier alternatives to products high in sugar. Prior studies have shown that when rodents are exposed to LCS for a prolonged time period, they develop metabolic abnormalities. However the majority of human studies have only looked at the effects of single-dose LCS ingestion on metabolic parameters. The goal of this study is to investigate the LCS–induced changes in at-risk adolescents and young adults under conditions that reflect real life LCS consumption.

METHODS: Ten females between the ages of 18 and 25, who were overweight or had mild to moderate obesity (a BMI between 25 and 35 kg/m2) were enrolled in a longitudinal study design. Individuals were selected to represent a population that is already metabolically vulnerable and likely to use LCS for weight loss. Participants served as their own controls and the following were measured using fasted blood samples collected before and after 8 weeks of three times daily diet soda (containing sucralose and acesulfame-potassium) consumption: fasting glucose levels, HOMA-IR, Leptin, Adiponectin, TNF-alpha, hs-CRP, triglyceride and HDL levels. Anthropometric and dietary data were also collected.

RESULTS: Eight participants completed the eight week study. Given our small sample size, there were no statistically significant differences in any of the metabolic or inflammatory biomarkers measured when comparing baseline and post-intervention values. However, there was a trend towards increased HOMA-IR and leptin, driven largely by changes observed for a single participant. Observed changes in biomarker profiles before and after the intervention were highly variable across study participants.

CONCLUSIONS: Given the massive variability in responses across study participants, comparing average values for all eight participants before or after the intervention is likely inaccurate for describing LCS effects. Further analyses to evaluate potential factors associated with ‘responders’ and ‘non-responders’ are warranted to determine whether some individuals may be more susceptible to LCS-induced metabolic effects. Our results also highlight the urgent need for future studies testing a larger sample of metabolically at-risk individuals.