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What You Should Know About Sweeteners
September 29, 2009 20:32

Those, who try to lose weight by means of removing sugar from their diet, should be aware that sugar substitutes not always do good to health, moreover, their effects vary with seasons, Russian scientists and medics believe.

General Practitioners often advice using sugar substitutes for preventing and treating obesity, diabetes, caries and many other health disorders, caused by dysfunction of carbohydrate metabolism. Healthy people often willingly use artificial sweeteners, especially, when they want to fight some excessive weight. However, when you shift from traditional sugar to its substitutes, you change activity of appropriate enzymes, which participate in carbohydrate metabolism- this is how our organism adapts to changes on molecular level. At the same time, all processes, which take place in an organism, including enzyme system activity, comply with biorhythms. These interactions are studied quite poorly, that is why Russian scientists paid attention to them.

Many food products, which human beings eat, are first tested on laboratory rats, and sugar substitutes are not an exception. Experiments were conducted on several tens of rats, divided into six groups. Animals of the control groups ate ordinary rat food for one month, others received rations with 54% of carbohydrates. Second group ate sucrose (traditional sugar), third one – sorbitol (sugar substitute), fourth group fed on xylitol, fifth ate sorbitol and sucrose in equal quantities, and the last group – xylitol and sucrose. After 30 days of experiment, rats were weighed, and activity of their enzymes of liver and blood serum, responsible for carbohydrates fragmentation, was investigated.



After spending thirty days on various foods, animal appearance and behavior changed significantly. Rats from the second group (which ate sucrose), weighed a little bit less than control rats, but were neat and quite well-fed. Animals form other feeding groups were overexcited, lost weight, their fur was dirty, and stool was loose. The most unpleasant changes were detected in rats, which ate sorbitol and xylitol without a trace of sucrose. However, when the weather was good – in summer and in spring – all animals weighed more and looked much better than during autumn and winter. Laboratory animals react on seasonal changes, despite they spend their life indoors – it’s colder in their rooms in winter, and the days become shorter.

When rats switched to eating sugar substitutes, enzymes, responsible for their metabolism, were activated. Enzyme activity was also higher in warmer seasons, according to measurements. Other researchers have already reported about seasonal changes in activity of other liver enzymes, which participate in key metabolic reactions. The experiments revealed that the strongest changes were detected in activity of sorbitol dehydrogenase, the enzyme, which oxidizes sorbitol. Additional studies showed that the more sorbitol was eaten, the higher activity of sorbitol dehydrogenase has been. Increase in activity of this particular enzyme has adaptive significance, since too much sorbitol in an organism can promote kidney stone disease, diarrhoea, deterioration of eye retina and lens and other diseases.

Source: Science & Technologies

Kizilova Anna

Tags: health     

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