Want a Soda? Go with Your Gut.

by Staff, Utne Reader
July-August 2010
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Matt Mignanelli / www.mattmignanelli.com

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Diet drinks and artificially sweetened treats are calorie free, but new research indicates that they’re fooling more than your mouth—and most likely messing with your metabolism. Scientists have discovered that the biological machinery that allows you to taste sweet with your tongue also exists in the gut, reports Science News (March 27, 2010).

In the mouth, sweet-taste receptors tell the brain to pump saliva, chew, and swallow. No problem there. In the gut, however, they “take this response to the next level, affirming that fuel is indeed incoming and setting off reactions to cope with it.” These reactions include releasing a surge of insulin, which encourages cells to drain glucose from blood and store it as energy in the muscles and liver. Artificial sweeteners trigger the same reactions, only there’s no energy for the body to harvest.

Scientists are still enthusiastically studying this whole body sense of taste, but the nascent discovery is likely to shed light on recent studies that established a seemingly perplexing association between drinking diet beverages and developing metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. As Science News concludes: “Perhaps that adage ‘Trust your gut’ should be accompanied with another edict: ‘Tell it no lies.’ ”

Post a comment below.


paul chesters_2
7/31/2010 3:26:16 AM
Surely the myopic reasoning behind the problem outlined above is plain and simply profit. The general public has been hoodwinked over several decades into eating whatever the global conglomerates want us to consume in the name of their great totem - profit

paul chesters_2
7/31/2010 2:52:44 AM
The cause of the myopic reasoning mentioned above is well known and documented: advertising and the constant push by global conglomerates to increase their sales and remuneration to their shareholders. The health of society comes a poor second to this.

7/30/2010 1:19:02 PM
If you drink a diet soda alone, you may cause the problems described. But this bodily response (insulin production and release)is stimulated just by thinking about food as well. Drinking a diet soda with a meal can help save Calories and potentially assist weight loss with an otherwise Calorically deficient and balanced diet plan. I am not advocating artificial sweeteners but once in a while is not going to cause great harm. I do agree that if what you put in your body isn't beneficial, it should be limited or avoided.

Karina Bertrand
7/27/2010 4:37:35 PM
When are we going to be stop trying to prove that real, whole, unadultered food is what your body needs? I do not need to read an article like this to know that anything "artificial" that I put inside my body is going to detrimental. If people can just stop and think about it, they will realize that it is just common sense.

Tim Gieseke
7/26/2010 2:40:48 PM
Consuming foods with no calories is indirectly linked to a lose of logic-orientated brain functions. Startling research has revealed that the human body is not made up of thousands of independent functions, but that in reality, it is actually one unit. Consuming non-caloric pseudo-foods can have effects beyond zero. The human that does not recognize that its body has reached a certain mass that exceeds a normal functioning state is highly prone to deteriorating health. The lack of logical reasoning has infilterated the medical field, as this field of research has not yet realized that the human body is one unit. The cause of the myopic reasoning has not yet been discovered, but research grants are being submitted to further dissect this problem until the specific reason can be isolated and the specific treatment can be administered.

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