Health: the consumption of sweeteners would be associated with the risk of cardiovascular disease

Very present in the food industry and many low-fat products, sweeteners have a detrimental effect on health. Researchers who had already demonstrated the link between their consumption and the risk of cancer, conducted a new study on the risk of cardiovascular disease.

“Scientists found that total sweetener consumption was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, specifically cerebrovascular disease”, this is one of the observations of scientists who have just conducted a study on the subject. They analyzed the health data of 103,388 adults participating in the French NutriNet-Santé cohort study with regard to their overall consumption of this type of food additive.

Sweeteners reduce the added sugar content and the calories associated with it, while maintaining the sweet taste of the products. Many foods and drinks (light sodas, yogurts, sweets, etc.) containing sweeteners are consumed daily by millions of people, as Inserm reminds us. Their effect on health is debated and many studies are regularly conducted, as it is a public health issue.

More than 100,000 people took part in the study

The World Health Organization recommends limiting the consumption of free sugars to less than 10% of daily energy intake, forcing the food industry to resort to artificial sweeteners to guarantee the sweet taste of foods while reducing the added sugar content and corresponding calories. Sweeteners that are also found in many foods that are not a priori sweet… Aspartame is one of the best known, but there are many with a sweetening power much higher than sugar.

A previous study had thus highlighted the link between their consumption and the risk of cancer. “Scientists found that, compared to non-consumers, people who consumed the most sweeteners, especially aspartame and acesulfame-K, had a higher risk of developing cancer, all cancer types combined”, she concluded. With higher risks for breast cancer and obesity-related cancers.

Sugars very present in the food industry

It is on the basis of the same methodology that this new large-scale study was carried out to measure the risk linked to cardiovascular diseases by taking into account many factors on people’s lifestyle over a period of 12 years. ” This large-scale study suggests, in agreement with several other epidemiological studies on sweetened beverages, that sweeteners, food additives used in many foods and beverages, could represent an increased risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. “, explained Charlotte Debras, doctoral student and first author of the study. Further research will be needed to confirm these results.

The team brought together researchers from Inserm, INRAE, Cnam, Sorbonne Paris Nord University and Paris Cité University, within the Nutritional Epidemiology Research Team (EREN). The results of these statistical analyzes published in the British Medical Journal this Thursday, September 8 suggest an association between the general consumption of sweeteners and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

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