There is no compelling evidence to support the health benefits of sugar-free sweetenersand potential damages can not be ruled out, according to a review of the study published in the journal. The British Medical Journal.
Growing concerns about health and quality of life have encouraged many people to adopt healthier lifestyles and avoid foods rich in sugar, salt or fats. Therefore, foods and beverages containing unheated sweeteners instead of common sugars have become increasingly popular.
Although several unsweetened sweeteners are approved for use, less is known about their possible benefits and damages within acceptable daily intakes, because the evidence is "often limited and conflicting", indicate those responsible for this study.
To better understand all this, a team of European researchers from countries such as Hungary, Germany and France looked at 56 studies comparing unacceptable consumption or the lowest consumption of sugar-free sweeteners with a higher intake in healthy adults and children. They measured weight, blood glucose control, oral health, cancer, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, mood and behavior. The studies were evaluated for bias and certainty of the evidence.
Generally, the results show that for most of the results there do not appear to be any statistically or clinically significant differences between people exposed to unsweetened and non-exposed sweeteners or between different doses of unsweetened sweeteners.
For example, adult results from some small suggested studies slight improvements in body mass index and blood glucose levels fasting with sugar-free sweeteners, but the certainty of this evidence was low. The lowest intakes of sugar-free sweeteners were associated with a slightly lower weight gain (-0.09 kg) than the highest intakes, but again the certainty of this evidence was low.
In children, a lower increase in body mass index scores was observed with sweeteners without sugar compared to sugar, but the intake of sugar-free sweeteners did not differ with body weight. In addition, they have not found sufficient evidence of any effect of sugar-free sweeteners on overweight or obese adults or on children trying to lose weight actively.