Should we be scared of artificial sweeteners?

Should we be scared of artificial sweeteners?

Artificial sweeteners are making the headlines again, and not for the right reasons. There are millions of consumers worldwide who happily drink diet fizzy drinks which seem virtuous because they replace sugar with sweeteners but in reality maybe the artificial additives are not as helpful as we imagine.

It is a controversial topic. Studies have linked artificial sweeteners to metabolic disorders, weight gain or cancers, but both the UK government and the American Food and Drug Administration have approved specific sweeteners for general consumption and state that they are safe options.

Big charities such as Cancer Research UK have also stated that "Large studies looking at people have now provided strong evidence that artificial sweeteners are safe for humans".

However every couple of months new research points the finger at artificial sweeteners being a risk factor in developing strokes or dementia,(reported in Stroke, the journal of the American Heart Association), raising the risk of type 2 diabetes (Adelaide Medical School) or being associated with weight gain (Wisconsin and Marquette University). Ironic really when sweeteners are meant to be the ‘healthier’ option and advised for those who are trying to keep their weight down.

In 2017 a large scale review carried out by the University of Manitoba found little evidence of weight loss from those using sweeteners, other than in research funded by the industry. The author commented:

"Based on all of the research done so far, there is no clear evidence for a benefit, but there is evidence of potential harm from the long-term consumption of artificial sweeteners…This should inspire consumers to think about whether they want to be consuming artificial sweeteners, especially on a regular basis, because we do not know if they are a truly harmless alternative to sugar.”

At Kolibri we think that you should choose how much sweetness you want from your drinks. We don’t add sugar and we don’t use artificial sweeteners. If you appreciate a sweet touch, you can add the Kolibri Drops which contain a delicious blend of Agave, lemon juice, apple and caramel, but even if you use all the Drops your drink will have no more than 40 calories. So here's to choosing to have Kolibri your way!

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