Study finds new link between artificial sweeteners and heart disease
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - French researchers may have discovered a link between artificial sweeteners and increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
Artificial sweeteners are found in most sugar-free food products and have long been linked to weight gain, high blood pressure and inflammation. But, a new study by French scientists has found a potential direct association between higher artificial sweetener consumption and increased cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes.
Dr. Robert Campbell, a family practice physician with the Brian Clinic in Alexandria, said some patients in the study who did have CVD or cardiac events were consuming several times the recommended amount of artificial sweetener and that could have been a factor in the results.
“We found that there were other factors that could have led to these cardiovascular events, and also I did find that the patients were also having ten times the use of these artificial sweeteners than patients that were on the low-use of these sweeteners,” Dr. Campbell said.
Although the results of the study are inconclusive, artificial sweeteners should not be considered a healthy and safe alternative to sugar. Dr. Campbell said some health-related issues may still have better outcomes sticking with sweeteners rather than sugar.
”Especially for patients with diabetes I think this is a better alternative than using real sugar, real sugar is obviously going to increase our diabetes risk,” Dr. Campbell said. “So yes, in moderation but it’s definitely not a saving grace, it’s not a replacement for a good diet, exercise program, and following up with your primary care doctor regularly.”
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