Aspartame Artificial Sweetener Can Cause Weight Gain

| December 27, 2016

At this time of year, many of us are thinking about New Year Resolutions. And for some, that will include making an effort to lose a few (or more) extra pounds. Swapping sugar for a no-calorie sweetener may seem an obvious step in the right direction. But regular readers of The Real Diabetes Truth will know that these products are not a healthy option.

Sugar substitutes like aspartame claim to promote weight loss and lower the risk of metabolic syndrome, but clinical trials have found that these products don’t work and may actually make things worse. And it isn’t just because they can trigger cravings for sugary, fattening foods – they also act like drugs to disrupt essential body processes.

In a recent blog post here, I mentioned a study that found artificially-sweetened “diet” drinks don’t aid weight loss. Compared with water, these products were linked with less weight loss and higher blood sugar levels, in obese women with type 2 diabetes who were following a low-calorie diet.

Other studies show that artificial sweeteners, including aspartame, cause bacteria in the gut to produce inflammatory substances that promote weight gain, as I reported here. And now, it appears that aspartame prevents weight loss in another way, too, by blocking the activity of an enzyme that prevents metabolic syndrome.

Scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital have shown in animal studies how aspartame releases the amino acid phenylalanine, which inhibits a gut enzyme called intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP).1 IAP plays a vital role in destroying toxins produced by “bad” gut bacteria and in preventing “leaky gut syndrome” (which I talk about here) and chronic inflammation.2 So, by blocking the action of IAP, aspartame can promote obesity and metabolic syndrome.

There have been concerns about aspartame’s safety ever since it was first proposed as an artificial sweetener. In fact, it was never intentionally developed as a food product, but was an accidental spin-off from a pharmaceutical drug. And the sordid story of aspartame’s approval by the FDA in America, which you can read in full here, includes most of Big Pharma’s dirty practices, including hiding or falsifying the results of safety tests and political string-pulling.

In my next blog post, I’ll give you more reasons why you should avoid aspartame like the plague.

Wishing you the best of health,

Martin Hum
PhD DHD Nutritionist
for Real Diabetes Truth

Bear in mind we are not addressing anyone’s personal situation and you should rely on this for informational purposes only. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.


1. Gul S, Hamilton A, Munoz A et al. Inhibition of the gut enzyme intestinal alkaline phosphatase may explain how aspartame promotes glucose intolerance and obesity in mice. App Physiol Nutr Metab. 2016 Nov 18 (Online ahead of print).

2. Kaliannan K, Hamarneh SR, Economopoulos KP. Intestinal alkaline phosphatase prevents metabolic syndrome in mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2013;110(17):7003-7008.


Print Friendly

Tags: , , ,

Category: Diet and Exercise

Comments are closed.