Want a Soda? Go with Your Gut.

| July-August 2010

  • Want a Soda Image

    Matt Mignanelli / www.mattmignanelli.com

  • Want a Soda Image

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.’ ”

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.

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