Weight Gain, Low-Calorie Sweeteners, and Responsible Translation of Research

by birtanpublished on August 17, 2020

A press release on a recently published scientific study has been catching clicks with the headline low-calorie sweeteners do not mean low risk for infants new research shows the impact diet ingredients have on body weight and gut microbiota the biggest problem the

Infant's to which they refer our mouse pups this is healthcare triage news for a peek into the progress of scientific research consider the following headlines scientific evidence found for the role of stress and hair whitening

Zika vaccine protects both mom and fetus but mom needs a higher dose when pregnant scientists reverse the effects of dementia for the first time ever know what all these studies have in common

Just like the headline of the study we're focusing on today they all imply that the results are human centered especially the ones using words like mom and fetus or infants but all of them were conducted in laboratory rodents let

Me first save an animal research is a useful tool that's advanced our knowledge and our ability to treat illness in both humans and animals however there's a tendency to treat the results from animal studies as though

They are completely applicable to humans they often aren't dr. Michael Bracken wrote an entire paper on why animal studies are usually poor predictors for humans he acknowledges that some findings like the protective effect of

Penicillin against staph infections have applied well to both rodents and humans but it's usually more complicated than that for example he points out that accutane results in birth defects and rabbits monkeys and humans but not in

Mice or rats and the corticosteroids a class of steroid hormones used to treat things like asthma arthritis can lead to birth defects in many animals but not in humans getting into the why behind these mismatches requires episodes of their

Own but for today's purposes the point is that you could almost never extrapolate data from non-human animals directly to humans now finally the study from the intro to this episode to the research

The press release starts out by claiming the consumption of low-calorie sweeteners during pregnancy result in an offspring with increased body fat and disrupted microbiota the press release does not mention until nearly the end

These data were not obtained from humans it also fails to mention though the authors do point this out in the paper that body composition of offspring in the long term was more effective by maternal obesity and diet than by

Maternal consumption of low-calorie sweeteners you see all expecting rats became obese prior to pregnancy because they were given a high fat high sucrose diet for ten weeks before being bred then those fat rats once pregnant were

Given either artificial sweeteners or water the female offspring of the obese rats given low-calorie sweeteners did have higher body fat at weaning but by 12 to 18 weeks of age all the offspring had similar fat mass and it didn't

Matter whether their mothers had low calorie sweeteners or not and overall the difference is that did exist between groups are pretty marginal by Vout I don't mean that they aren't potentially important but I do mean that they don't

Warrant the headline low calorie sweeteners do not mean low risk for infants in terms of the microbiota disruptions we've covered this before there's a lot of hype surrounding the microbiome that outweighs reality

Especially when it comes to nutrition we need a lot more data especially in humans before we get too excited the evidence of harm from consuming added sugars is much stronger than that for artificial sweeteners we've covered that

Before too so carry on low calorie sweetener lovers of the world Haeju enjoyed this episode you might enjoy this other episode on the mysteries of the microbiome there's still a lot to learn

We'd really love it if you liked it subscribe down below and consider supporting the show and patreon.com slash out pear trees we'd like to specially thank our research associate jos evans and of course our surgeon

Admiral Sam

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