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  • Writer's pictureKatherine Sims

That sweet, sweet taste is stimulating

Tasting sweet food causes our bodies to release insulin in preparation for the increased blood glucose levels that normally accompany sweet foods. This insulin release is called cephalic phase insulin release or CPIR. Often, non-nutritive sweeteners such as saccharine, or Sweet'n Low, are used in place of sugar to provide sweet taste without the extra calories or CPIR. However, researchers have found that the sweet taste relayed to the brain through the taste nerve also causes CPIR.

This means that although artificial sweeteners may have no calories, they still produce an insulin response that can contribute to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance means that the body doesn't respond correctly to glucose. This means that insulin resistance causes the body to need more insulin than it can produce naturally. This is a precursor to Diabetes Type 2, which often comes with other conditions such as abdominal obesity and heart disease.

In the end, while artificial or non-nutritive sweeteners may seem like a good alternative to sugars, if you are at risk of Diabetes Type 2, they produce similar insulin reactions to the sweet taste. Better to limit the sweets and stick to naturally occurring sugars such as fructose in fruit.

DOI: 10.2220/biomedres.28.79

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