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Pharmacist gives five reasons you should ditch fake sweeteners in food and drink

A pharmacist has revealed five reasons why you should avoid fake sweeteners in your drinks they could be causing more harm than good.

This comes months after the World Health Organisation released a report suggesting popular artificial sweetener aspartame could potentially cause liver cancer and other health problems when consumed in large amounts.

Pharmacist and founder of Ultra Nature supplement, Dr Sam Megalli, said: “In the quest for a healthier lifestyle, many of us turn to alternative options for sugar to cut down on calories while still satisfying our sweet cravings. However, beneath their enticing facade lies a complex web of potential dangers that demand our attention and understanding."

Dr Sam Megalli is a Senior Pharmaceutical Executive, university lecturer, medical research specialist and founder of Australian wellness brand Ultra Nature.

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Sweeteners on a spoon might not be the answer (


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The good doctor outlined five problems connected to fake sweeteners and the other options available.

Disruption of normal bodily processes

Artificial sweeteners have the potential to disrupt metabolic processes, the doctor explained. Despite not having much in the way of calories, they can still trigger an insulin response, in the same way real sugar would.

Insulin with no sugar to dance with can impact blood sugar control and may even lead to issues such as insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Artificial sweeteners can drive the hopeful-dieters to the biscuit bowl (


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A vicious cycle of craving

Rather than satisfying the craving, fake sweeteners may just condition our taste buds to crave sweet foods all the more. To compensate this could lead to eating larger portions or seeking out additional sugary foods.

In the grander scheme of diets and healthy eating, this could just be getting in our way. Dr Sam recommends replacing fake sweetener packed drinks with other options.

Water is obviously the best option but for those after something with more of a sweet edge there are drinks out there with natural sweeteners that can be an alternative option to sugar packed soft drinks.

There are healthy alternatives to soft drinks with artificial sweetener (


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Fake sweeteners could actually lead to weight gain

Dr Sam says that the idea that artificial sweeteners help lose weight is a common misconception. Fuelled by the idea consuming less calories should help shed those extra tires, it might actually be a little more complicated.

Studies have suggested that it could actually lead to weight gain as it could lead to an increased cravings for sweet foods, ultimately hampering any weight loss efforts.

Disturbing our microbiome

An increasingly large body of research is showing that a healthy microbiome in your gut can lead to better outcomes in terms of everything from cancer to dementia.

Recent studies have show that fake sweeteners could disturb this delicate balance, which in turn could affect digestion, immunity to bugs and even mental health.

Artificial sweeteners may not have the health benefits that many hope for (


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Instead relying on a range of naturally sweet foods such as fruit or honey can allow us to enjoy sweetness while benefiting from the other health benefits these foods offer.

A diminishing sense of reward

Sweetness is wired in our brains to be perceived as a reward.

Some scientists are concerned the intensity of artificial sweeteners could desensitise our brain's reward pathways, leading to less and less satisfaction gained from other sweet foods.

This in turn could lead to overeating as our bodies crave that high from the artificial sweetener.