Many studies have raised questions as to the health risks of artificial sweeteners and whether they can increase the risk of diabetes. So consumers are left asking, "Am I better off with regular sugar?"
A study found that some diets high in saccharin, an artificial sweetener, cause changes in mice and people that could lead to obesity or type 2 diabetes. The sweetener altered microbes in the gut, thereby impairing the body’s ability to process glucose, or blood sugar, researchers say. Other sweeteners could cause similar glucose-intolerance problems that can lead to diabetes, studies have reported.
But no study has established a cause-and-effect relationship between artificial sweeteners and diabetes or prediabetes. About one-third of Americans have prediabetes, also known as impaired glucose tolerance, which carries an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The National Cancer Institute and other health agencies have not found sound scientific evidence linking artificial sweeteners approved for use in the U.S. to serious health problems.