Artificial sweeteners and sugar alternatives may not be as healthy as generally thought according to a recent study published in the British Medical Journal.
Experts have found there was no compelling evidence to suggest any important health benefits from consuming non sugar sweeteners and there could even be potential harms.
Many people have tried to adopt healthier lifestyles and avoid foods and drinks with high levels of sugar to reduce risk of obesity and tooth decay for example.Therefore products containing non sugar sweeteners have become increasingly popular .
Several non sugar sweeteners are approved for use but less is known about their potential benefits and harms within acceptable daily intakes because there is limited and even conflicting evidence.
The study showed that there was little evidence that consuming non sugar sweeteners gave any significant health benefits over those consuming little or none of these products.
There was no good evidence of any effect of non sugar sweeteners found for overweight or obese adults or children actively trying to lose weight.
Overall the study concluded that there was little benefit in consuming non sugar sweeteners and if fact there could even be harm to health.
Although consuming soft drinks say with non sugar alternatives rather than the high sugar products may seem to be preferable these drinks are still very acidic and can lead to tooth decay.
The BDA recommend water and milk as the only truly non sugar containing drinks .Consuming products with the non sugar alternatives can lead to the development of a ‘sweet tooth’ which leads to an increased susceptibility to dental caries .
Also the acidic nature of these drinks can lead to erosion of the Dental enamel which is commonly seen by dentists in young adolescent patients and the consequences of this can be life long.