Fresh blow for Diet Coke fans as yet more evidence shows fizzy faves ‘increase your risk of silent killer’ | The Sun
SWAPPING full fat drinks of their diet alternatives may be even worse for you than previously thought.
Artificial sweeteners, found in diet coke and sugar free chewing gum, could increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, scientists warn.
It comes as new advice from the World Health Organisation says switching sugar for sweeteners will not help you lose weight and may cause cancer.
The advice suggests people shouldn't turn to non-sugar sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin and stevia.
Instead, they should consider eating foods with naturally occurring sugars, such as fruit, as well as stick to unsweetened foods and drinks.
The new study, published in the Diabetes Journal, found people who consumed artificial sweeteners were more at risk to the type 2 diabetes compared with those who didn't.
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The researchers wrote: "The findings strengthen evidence that these additives may not be safe sugar alternatives.
"[It also] provides important insights in the context of ongoing worldwide reevaluation of artificial sweeteners by health authorities."
The French scientists analysed the diets and health of 105,588 people for nine years.
By the end of the study, 972 participants had developed type 2 diabetes.
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The experts found those who consumed between 16 and 18mg of artificial sweeteners per day had a 69 per cent higher chance of developing the condition than those who ate less.
While those who ate and drank aspartame containing products specifically had a 63 per cent higher chance of developing the disease.
A separate report from the organisation’s Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JEFCA) ruled existing daily limits on aspartame are safe.
These are around 40mg per kg of body weight — between nine and 14 cans — per day.
It means that if you weigh 11st (70kg), you can safely consume up to 14 cans of Diet Coke daily.
Independent experts said this doesn’t mean people should aim to drink that amount, as it can cause other problems like teeth erosion.
Dr Duane Mellor, of Aston University, said: “To be clear this is not a recommendation to consume.
“High intakes of any soft drinks, including diet versions containing sweeteners is likely to lead to less healthy foods being consumed.”
What is type 2 diabetes and what are the symptoms?
Diabetes is a disease which occurs when the level of sugar in your blood is too high.
There are two types, with the main difference being that type 1 diabetes is a genetic condition, with type 2 is linked to lifestyle choices.
But both are as serious as each other and can lead to serious health complications such as sight loss and the limb amputations.
According to the NHS, these are other signs to look out for:
- feeling very thirsty
- peeing more frequently than usual, particularly at night
- feeling very tired
- weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
- itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush
- blurred vision
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