Artificial sweeteners are used by millions of people all around the world to treat obesity, but it is also a great way to stimulate appetite, as per a new research. However, it should be mentioned here that people do not quite know their full impact on the brain and how they play a part in regulating hunger.
The conclusion was based on a study which was published in the journal ‘Cell Metabolism’ and it throws light on the different effects of artificial sweeteners on the brain in regulating appetite and how they play a role in altering taste perceptions.
This report suggests that researchers from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research have come across a new system in the brain which is responsible for sensing and integrating the sweetness and energy content of the food.
“After chronic exposure to a diet that contained the artificial sweetener sucralose, we saw that animals began eating a lot more,” said lead researcher and Associate Professor Greg Neely from the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Science.
“Through systematic investigation of this effect, we found that inside the brain’s reward centres, sweet sensation is integrated with energy content. When sweetness versus energy is out of balance for a period of time, the brain recalibrates and increases total calories consumed,” added Associate Professor Neely.
In order to arrive at the conclusion, fruit flies were exposed to a diet which was replete with artificial sweetener for extended periods. It was observed that they consumed 30 per cent more calories when they were exposed to naturally sweetened food.
“When we investigated why animals were eating more even though they had enough calories, we found that chronic consumption of this artificial sweetener actually increases the sweet intensity of real nutritive sugar, and this then increases the animal’s overall motivation to eat more food,” said Associate Professor Neely.