It's a common misconception for people to think that drinking diet soda is actually a better alternative than the high sugar drinks of normal sodas. And while we all know about the word aspartame, few of us really know what the synthetic sweetener actually does to our bodies.
Well, here's what a new study says it does—and it's killing your body, actually making you gain weight, per Science Daily.
“Sugar substitutes like aspartame are designed to promote weight loss and decrease the incidence of metabolic syndrome, but a number of clinical and epidemiologic studies have suggested that these products don’t work very well and may actually make things worse,” says Richard Hodin, MD, of the MGH Department of Surgery, the study’s senior author. “We found that aspartame blocks a gut enzyme called intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP) that we previously showed can prevent obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome; so we think that aspartame might not work because, even as it is substituting for sugar, it blocks the beneficial aspects of IAP.”
Well, that's not how this is supposed to work.
The study, which used mice to test how aspartame effect's bodies, found that, no matter if a group had low levels or high levels of the sweetener, things turned out bad for the mice.
While there was little difference between the weights of the two groups fed a normal diet, mice on a high-fat diet that received aspartame gained more weight than did those on the same diet that received plain water. Aspartame-receiving mice in both diet groups had higher blood sugar levels than did those fed the same diets without aspartame, which indicates glucose intolerance, and both aspartame-receiving groups had higher levels of the inflammatory protein TNF-alpha in their blood, which suggests the kind of systemic inflammation associated with metabolic syndrome.
So, yeah, for those who think that drinking a diet soda with fake sugar is better for you than real sugar in normal soda, science has, once again, proven that you're wrong. Of course, staying away from sugar as much as possible is the real way to avoid bad health and weight gains.
Other studies have shown the overall effects that aspartame has on other parts of your body, too—including your mental health—so it's really not something anyone should mess with if you're looking to stay healthy.