Artificial Sweeteners May Raise Risk of Heart Disease or Stroke, New Research Finds

Recent studies suggest that consuming too many artificial sweeteners could elevate blood sugar levels and raise one's risk of heart disease or stroke

Sugar substitute packet variety in a glass container
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study published Wednesday in the BMJ, which involved more than 100,000 adults in France, found a potential link between consumption of artificial sweeteners and heart disease, adding to mounting evidence that consuming these sugar alternatives may be harmful to your health.

The results showed that participants who consumed large amounts of aspartame — found in the tabletop sweeteners Equal and NutraSweet as well as cereals, yogurt, candy and diet soda — had a higher risk of stroke than people who didn’t consume the sweetener.

Similarly, people who consumed high quantities of sucralose — found in Splenda as well as baked goods, ice cream, canned fruit, flavored yogurt and syrups — and acesulfame potassium, often used in "sugar-free" soda, had a higher risk of coronary heart disease.

Last month, a smaller study found that consuming non-nutritive sweetener — sugar substitutes that contain few calories or nutrients — could alter a person's gut microbes and potentially elevate blood sugar levels. High blood sugar can increase one's risk of diabetes, heart disease or stroke. Other previous research has linked artificial sweeteners to obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and increased cancer risk as well.

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