Souring on Sweeteners: Why Diet Sugars Don’t Work

Souring on Sweeteners: Why Diet Sugars Don’t Work

Sweet Serendipity: It was 1878, when a beaker of coal tar compounds boiled over in the chemistry laboratory of Ira Remsen at the newly founded Johns Hopkins University. Researcher Constantine Fahlberg cleaned up the mess, but later at dinner, his hands tasted surprisingly sweet as he put a piece of bread in his mouth. And this is how the first artificial sweetener was discovered! Named saccharin, it was 300 times sweeter than sugar. Soon, it was being prescribed to President Theodore Roosevelt, to counter his corpulence. More low-calorie sweeteners followed: sucralose, stevia and neotame, the last one being 10,000 times sweeter than table sugar. Today, 30% of adults and 15% of children in the U.S. consume low calorie sweeteners. A sweet deal, right?

Caloric Contradictions: Unfortunately, counterintuitive to expectations, studies show that people who consume large amounts of artificially sweetened drinks gain more weight and body fat compared to those who don’t. Could this be a case of reverse causation? Perhaps, increased body weight encourages people to turn to non-caloric sweeteners. However, this has been ruled out by (i) controlling for baseline body weight at the start of the study and by (ii) looking at weight changes in people who are not overweight to begin with. Another possibility is cognitive distortion: because non-caloric sweeteners are perceived to be healthy, we take that as permission to consume more high-calorie foods. Imaging studies of the human brain reveal a metabolic cause: unlike ordinary sugar, non-caloric sweeteners do not trigger the reward circuits that initiate satiety and fail to activate normal pathways of insulin release needed to deal with caloric loads. 

Diet to Diabetes: New research in both mice and humans showed that artificial sweeteners also change our gut microbiome, leading to glucose intolerance, the first step to diabetes. Surprisingly, if the feces from saccharin-fed mice was transplanted into mice whose guts were first cleared of bacteria by antibiotics, the sugar handling defect could be induced in the healthy mice. Oh, expletive!

The Archies sang, ♫ Oh honey, sugar, sugar..you are my candy girl and you’ve got me wanting you

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MiQzAo6Cp8

REF: Artificial sweeteners produce the counterintuitive effect of inducing metabolic derangements. Susanne Swithers (2013) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3772345/

News Story & Link to Nature paper: http://www.nature.com/news/sugar-substitutes-linked-to-obesity-1.15938

  #ScienceSunday  

This entry was posted in Rajini Rao and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

119 Responses to Souring on Sweeteners: Why Diet Sugars Don’t Work


  1. Just read a fascinating essay from Cecil Adams of the Straight Dope fame, about this issue.  It was written in 1988 when all such topics were researched the old-fashioned way.  He was asked by a reader about the properties of such substitute sweeteners in soda beverages.  Everything I am reading about nutrition and weight gain seems to be stacking up against use of such substitutes. The primary purpose of this use was for the cost-savings of manufacturing!


    Link to one of the most fun sites of reference online:


    http://straightdope.com/

  2. Rajini Rao says:


    cobalt please thanks for the link. The paper I read on the history of saccharin also made the point that cost saving was the business motivation for the patent. 

  3. Chad Haney says:


    Uncle Cecil is great cobalt please. I wish I had more time to read the Straight Dope.


    Great post Rajini Rao. When I was a chem eng intern, I worked at a coal tar refinery. Pthalic anhydride is a byproduct from distilling coal tar. It’s used in plastic and relevant to your post, it’s used to make saccharine. I don’t like the taste of artificial sweeteners and the memories of the smell of pthalic anhydride don’t help.


  4. I stay away from artificial sweeteners because at one point it was thought they contributed to migraines, which I have dealt with forever.


    But I do eat a lot of real sugar and I’m always expecting my doc to tell me that I have some warning signs of diabetes and should cut back. But that hasn’t happened…

  5. Abrak Jamson says:


    “people who consume large amounts of artificially sweetened drinks gain more weight and body fat compared to those who” drink water. That was the study.

  6. Rajini Rao says:


    Chad Haney thanks for the chemical tidbit on saccharin. The paper that I referenced went into too much (unsavory!) detail about the chemistry that I got muddled in the end 🙂 I don’t like the after taste of many artificial sweeteners. It seems that they linger on the palate too long. 

  7. Rajini Rao says:


    Jeff Jockisch I wonder if contaminants or minor compounds in the artificial sugars cause the migraine? I’ll keep my eyes open for any studies that show a link. 

  8. Rajini Rao says:


    Abrak Jamson I was not referencing any specific study (such as a controlled study in mice where water was the alternative) in my statement. Instead, I was referring to the prospective cohort studies in the link provided.  


  9. Abrak Jamson​ good point about water being the baseline. Why diet sweeteners don’t work as what? A magic bullet of thinness? What a surprise.

  10. Rajini Rao says:


    Peter Lindelauf I was recently chided for quoting the Archies in a lecture on glucose because, as my colleague correctly said, it dated me 🙂 

  11. Mike Bayes says:


    Not sure stevia should be lumped in with “artificial sweeteners”. Its a leaf.


  12. Stevia is an artificial sweetener, the leaf is processed to extract the chemical.

  13. Jesse H says:


    I just look around and see the evidence in today’s society. Weight gain is on the rise.

  14. Rajini Rao says:


    Mike Bayes , the scientifically more accurate term is “noncaloric sweetener” (although some contribute very low calories). 

  15. Rajini Rao says:


    Cass Morrison please see my earlier comment: baseline was not water in the human cohort studies. The San Antonio Heart Study is an example.  

  16. Mike Bayes says:


    Thank you Rajini Rao .  I see my mistake.  But, does this imply that stevia is bad for you?  


  17. Diabetes is on the rise and has been since 1971. The obesity epidemic started when Nixon and Butz switched agriculture from wheat to corn and adjusted the farm subsidies to favor corn. Don’t just believe me, look at old pictures from then and older and see for yourself.

  18. Rajini Rao says:


    Mike Bayes I just looked it up, stevia is indeed a natural product. Sucrose is extracted naturally from sugar cane and beets too, so it is natural and not artificial. Stevia works as a noncaloric sweetener because its breakdown product cannot be absorbed into the body. It is used by bacteria in our colon. Too be clear, none of these compounds is likely to be “bad for you” in moderation.  I try to explain in this post why they may fail to work in diets and may be counter productive. 

  19. Mike Bayes says:


    Thank you Rajini Rao And yes I understand the connection.  I will say in my personal experience, that the use of most noncaloric sweeteners causes headaches  for me, but not Stevia. Its going to be very bad news if Stevia use tricks the brain into behaviors that encourage weight gain.    

  20. Rajini Rao says:


    I had not heard of the headache connection, Mike Bayes . Jeff Jockisch said the same thing! I’ll let you know if I come across any worrying studies on Stevia. 

  21. Rajini Rao says:


    Jesse H and Charles-A Rovira there is startling graph on the rise of sugar consumption per capita: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-american-sugar-consumption-2012-2

  22. Chad Haney says:


    This is more up your alley, Rajini Rao. The role of a sodium transporter and artificial sweeteners.


    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20338074

  23. Jay Dinan says:


    @Rajini, Thanks for the informative article and of course the stroll down memory lane with The Archies. I remember riding the school bus with the AM radio playing and all the older( 7 & 8 grade) girls sitting in the back of the bus and squealing with delight and singing along whenever this song, as well “Build me a Buttercup” , “Dizzy” and all the rest of the bubble gum pop songs came on. Here is a link to the hits of 1969 🙂


    http://www.musicoutfitters.com/topsongs/1969.htm

  24. Rajini Rao says:


    Chad Haney thanks for finding the link between artificial sugars and increased glucose absorption + SGLT1 induction. The authors have followed up with a more recent paper on this story as well…reading now. 

  25. Rajini Rao says:


    Jay Dinan many thanks for that wonderful list. Should I admit to a school girl crush on Neil Diamond after Sweet Caroline? Oh, and the Doors, and…

  26. Jesse H says:


    Hehehehe. I know so many of those songs Rajini.

  27. Gary Ray R says:


    I have been fighting the battle of the bulge most of my life.  But I always avoided artificial sweeteners, I just do not like the taste.  And I don’t drink soft drinks any more, now a good cocktail on the other hand, Hehehe.  I do like my Bourbon.  


    Thanks Rajini Rao for another interesting post.  


    I was just reading the NPR review of the new book, Tasty: the Art and Science of What We Eat by journalist John McQuaid and it seems to be a good book for us foodies that want to know more about the science of what we eat and why.  I’ll be ordering a copy.


    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2015/01/08/375932038/tasty-how-flavor-helped-makes-us-human


    I also highly recommend Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal  by Mary Roach.  That is a great book about the digestive process and Mary Roach is one of my favorite science authors. 

  28. Jesse H says:


    The graph you shared is exactly what we see today. So sad but true.

  29. Rajini Rao says:


    That’s so funny, Peter Lindelauf . Wiki refers to the Archies as a garage band. How hip 🙂


  30. Charles-A Rovira — you’re right about the timeline, but I’d nominate a much different cause:


    “After the fat-is-bad theory became popular wisdom, the cascade accelerated in the 1970s when a committee led by Senator George McGovern issued a report advising Americans to lower their risk of heart disease by eating less fat.”


    (Diet and Fat: A Severe Case of Mistaken Consensus: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/09/science/09tier.html )

  31. Rajini Rao says:


    Gary Ray R I too have noticed a distinct tendency toward a middle-age spread of the middle 😉 We’ll have to compare the caloric content of Bourbon to Coca Cola! 


    Thanks for the link to the NPR story. It would be interesting to follow up the evolutionary roots to our sweet tooth, as the article mentions. We have a strong evolutionary tendency to eat salty foods as well, I believe. I think I’ve heard of Mary Roach’s book..will check it out. 

  32. Adit Morey says:


    It was very interesting to read about how saccharin was discovered. It’s indeed quite counter- intuitive that artificial sweetners actually contribute to weight gain. Also, the gif image is very nice and quirky.


    Personally, I also believe that sweets and mithai taste nice only when prepared with real sugar.

  33. Rajini Rao says:


    Yes, the gif is cute isn’t it Adit Morey 🙂 Forget where I found it, though. Personally, I would rather have small quantities of real sugar than a lot of the fake stuff, if only for the difference in taste. 

  34. Chad Haney says:


    The Archies were hipsters? Who knew?


  35. Ellen Seebacher The increase in obesity would have stopped if that were true. But it just got worse the more soda (not just diet soda,) we’ve poured down our gullets. Next time you go shopping just try to find a product not made with or containing corn (aka pig slop) in your grocery store. You’re going to be hauling an almost empty basket.


  36. “Pour your sweetness over me…


    Pour your sugar on me, honey…”


    Oh dear!!


  37. Soda stream – just carbonated water with a splash of lemon ftw…

  38. Rajini Rao says:


    Johan Edstrom that would be refreshingly delish on a hot summer’s day 🙂

  39. Jo Jo says:


    lol…even honey….lol

  40. Jim Gorycki says:


    I learned this years ago, and I have told people that diet soft drinks make you gain weight.  Thanks for the scientific backing!


    We’re not much a soda drinking family.  I tend to drink water or carbonated water with 0 calories.Then I add an orange or lemon wedge to add flavor.

  41. Shiv Manas says:


    Rajini Rao​​ On a related note, I’ve been coming across more and more reports that low-fat milk is actually more harmful to you than whole milk as its contains more sugar, and ends up contributing more towards obesity.


    http://www.forbes.com/sites/melaniehaiken/2013/07/02/lowfat-milk-may-not-be-as-healthy-as-we-thought-says-harvard-expert/


    http://healthland.time.com/2013/07/03/skim-milk-is-healthier-than-whole-milk-right-maybe-not/

  42. Adit Morey says:


    That’s true Rajini Rao​​. 🙂


    ​ I heard from my dad that jaggery and honey are also a healthy alternatives to sugar .

  43. Rajini Rao says:


    Shiv Manas Dass and Ellen Seebacher I’m as confused as the general public on the link between fat and obesity/health. I get the LDL/HDL difference in cholesterol, but I’ve not really looked at the huge body of literature on the topic. Thanks for the links, I’ll be checking up on them! 

  44. Gary Ray R says:


    Well, I have to brag just a little.  Started new way to eat in September.  As of this morning I have lost 38 pounds.  And I enjoy food more now than ever before.  20 more to go and I will weigh what I did when I got out of High School.  (I was a big guy back then, hehehe)


  45. Wow, wow! I feel vindicated!


    Well, I have an advantage. I have good BMI and little on under wt side.


    Interestingly, since childhood, I eat a lot of cream, sugar and tea. But very regularly.


    If, cream coming on the top of the boiled milk at home is missing, there will be an empty bowl with small suggestion of fat and sugar…..all points to me!


    Hated the small sugar substitute and ‘diet’ sodas.


    When I go for it, I like my sweets sugary and fatty!


    And, I drink tea for caffeine!


    Rajini Rao post more! 👏

  46. Rajini Rao says:


    Shiv Manas Dass what is even more confounding than the low fat milk vs. regular milk comparison is that high consumption of milk is associated with increased bone fractures instead of the other way around ! http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g6015


    Biology sure is tricky. 

  47. Rajini Rao says:


    Gary Ray R that is wonderful! I am sure you are as handsome as you were in high school ❤ Be sure to share pix with us 🙂

  48. Gary Ray R says:


    Well a lot less hair on the head, and more on the face, and a few, well a lot more wrinkles.  Thanks Rajini.   

  49. Rajini Rao says:


    mandar khadilkar you must be just as annoyingly thin as my husband and son. Both are genetically incapable of fat accumulation. We should sequence your genes and make a million dollars or at least get a publication in Nature/Science  🙂 

  50. Shiv Manas says:


    Rajini Rao​​ From the paper you linked to, what’s worrying is this bit:


    A higher consumption of milk in women and men is not accompanied by a lower risk of fracture and instead may be associated with a higher rate of death.


    No wonder that ayurveda lists milk as one of the five poisons! 


  51. Rajini Rao not to point out small things….


    But the milk study you quotes had a conclusion that read-


    High milk consumption…….higher mortality…..


    It did not say that mortality is proportional to milk consumption. The difference is-once you take enough of a nutrient, any additional does not help. In fact, other chemical biological processes may start becoming relevant as one increases the dose.


    I may be, a glass of milk of a normalized proportion is the threshold.


    As again, this is pure speculation on my side.

  52. Rajini Rao says:


    mandar khadilkar and Shiv Manas Dass diet-related population studies are notoriously difficult to control since humans are not nearly so easy to experiment with as mice! The hope is that these correlative observations can serve as hypothesis for more mechanism based experiments that hopefully clarify what is going on.


  53. Got it! So, there is a concept of hidden variables. But I expect that new computational advances are going to help.


    Especially, if you are reading about ‘Machine learning”, we will see a significant change in statistical research in next decade.


    Even the process of diagnosis will be greatly altered. I hope that, instead of a need to conduct a controlled study, computational advances will find patterns in normal data collection which lead to new associations. Today, this not humanly possible. The new computational algorithms at scale can surface new links which are previously lost in muddled waters of raw data.


  54. Rajini Rao Somehow, I am suspecting that the new problem is not that simple. Many other factors may play a role for sure. Artificial sweeteners helped in the past. Why not now?

  55. Rajini Rao says:


    Gabriele Muellenberg some of the results come from long term human studies, others are newer more unexpected findings such as the one recently published in Nature, linking disorders in the gut microbiome to glucose intolerance. Because this is a complex topic, there will also be contradictory studies in the literature showing that noncaloric sugars do indeed benefit in terms of weight loss. The goal of my post was to look at the underling cellular and physiological reasons why there are studies showing that diet sugars do more harm than good. 


  56. 🙂 Rajini Rao I am all for sequencing my genes. And you are right….I do get envious looks when I go out with my peers for lunch. 😄


    They say, even the air they breath turns into fat…..half joking!

  57. Rajini Rao says:


    mandar khadilkar also, good point about biostatistics and computational analysis of biological data. That is already a major part of any genetics or medical research and will become even more important as genome, transcriptome and protein databases are increasingly available to be mined for information. 

  58. Jim Carver says:


    I bought a bag of xylitol http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xylitol from Pure Bulk about a month ago. It’s the only sugar “substitute” that I’ve found that has no after taste. Even stevia has a funky taste sometimes.


    It’s a natural sugar-alcohol, 1/3 fewer calories and is actually good for your teeth.

  59. James Raden says:


    Teddy Roosevelt wasn’t corpulent, William Howard Taft was.

  60. Rajini Rao says:


    Interesting, James Raden ! The little factoid about the White House physician prescribing saccharin to President Teddy Roosevelt for his “corpulence” was from a publication on the discovery of saccharin. Your comment made me look up his weight: he is in the top five most overweight presidents, apparently, but not as bad as Taft. Not that BMI is  relevant for presidency, IMO, but the article in the link was spurred by the potential run of Gov. Chris Christie. http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2011/09/28/a-history-of-fat-presidents/


    According to this story, “According to a friend he ate like a trencherman. It was not unusual for him to consume a whole chicken with trimmings all by himself, and wash it down with four big glasses of milk. He also drank great quantities of coffee and tea. He had his special coffee cup, described as being more like a bathtub. Its contents required five to seven lumps of sugar for sweetening. Eventually, Roosevelt made the usual show of reducing by substituting saccharine.” 


    http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/8931/1/The-Health-Of-The-President-Theodore-Roosevelt.html

  61. James Raden says:


    I could be wrong on Roosevelt, but while he may have been overweight, he was no Taft. “Corpulent” is usually reserved to describe people who are morbidly obese like Taft. Teddy Roosevelt was probably overweight in the way the average American male in 2015 is, while Taft would be described as large even by today’s standards.

  62. Rajini Rao says:


    James Raden yeah, I agree. “Corpulent” seems a bit strong for someone who was ~225 lbs. Apologies, Mr. Roosevelt! 🙂

  63. James Raden says:


    You don’t mess with Teddy! He once gave a speech minutes after having been shot, with the bullet still inside him. 🙂

  64. Rajini Rao says:


    Whew, good thing I apologized! 😀

  65. Jean Liss says:


    Considering that Teddy had already gone through one image makeover from a scrawny rich kid to the man’s man, perhaps he was more corpulent than his crafted image.  He is one of my favorite presidents, but I always wonder how much of what I love about him is fiction (and perhaps that doesn’t even matter).

  66. James Raden says:


    Jean Liss, I know what you mean. I’ve always found that speech-after-gunshot story to be a bit unbelievable.

  67. Jean Liss says:


    James Raden  It didn’t go in far…


    “He had the manuscript of a long, 50-page speech in his coat pocket, folded in two, and the bullet was no doubt slowed as it passed through it. He also had a steel spectacle case in his pocket, and the bullet traversed this, too, before entering Roosevelt’s chest near the right nipple”


     http://www.doctorzebra.com/prez/z_x26a_g.htm  


    I was thinking of all the images of him as a outdoors type that was mainly muscle and not fat (for a large man).  I have a framer working on my house that is a large man but it is mainly muscle -the framing members that he put in place by hand was astounding!  But I suppose that if he stopped his manual labor and sat behind a desk for a year, that is bmi would go from 20% to 40%.

  68. Ging De says:


    Damn this is not rocket science. Whole food and water, no processed crap (which means no sugar besides fruits), that’s what’s gonna keep people in shape.

  69. Nick James says:


    Alex C. You realise that your recipe for healthy living is totally against the American Way?  If somebody cannot process it for you and make money out of you then it will never get anywhere.  It will never attract advertising, either.

  70. Abrak Jamson says:


    Exactly Rajini Rao, high consumption of artificial sweeteners is worse than consuming zero artificial sweeteners – in other words, diet cola is worse than water. Is it worse than sugared cola, which has well-understood health effects? Could be! But I haven’t seen that study yet.

  71. Nick James says:


    Abrak Jamson Totally agree with you – just drink the water!  At most, dilute with a a good Scotch.

  72. James Raden says:


    I said goodbye to carbonated beverages about 10 years ago, and after a short period of missing them, I never looked back. They’re basically just empty calories. And when you get the diet? It’s a fake drink. When you get a little distance from them you realize they’re a very strange beverage indeed and you wonder why you ever drank them.


  73. You are only as healthy as your gut. When I read your post, And I got a gut feeling, that you are sweeter on sweets than artificial sweeties? Btw, how much diet soda can you drink before it kills the good bacteria in the gut? Does it apply to Stevia too. How about if you are getting a lot of prebiotic does that make a difference?


  74. The simplest rule of weight loss are:


    1. no sugar


    2. no potatoes


    3. no bread


    After 3 months you can slowly eat small portions and dose.


  75. Krzysztof Michalski I have lost 30 pounds over a year eating all of that. What I changed was ensuring that I get less than 16 grams of saturated fat, 50 to 60 grams of unsaturated fat, 35 grams of fiber and 50 grams of protein. I eat whole wheat bread, honey, potatoes. When you get enough fiber it blocks the absorption of sugar and cholesterol. Eating bananas and oranges help block sugar absorption.  


  76. Diet soda, salt alternatives, the list goes on.  This is not some great conspiracy theory.  Anyone with an inquisitive mind, an interest in learning, some healthy skepticism, and google can figure out that what is marketed to the mainstream american people as healthy is anything but that.


    Since my sister moved to Bulgaria and obviously stopped eating american food, her health has improved drastically.  Obviously there are other factors involved like walking more.


    Talking to someone from Brazil or Europe two weeks ago about how bad some American food is, he said he could tell it was affecting his children. 

  77. James Raden says:


    Elizabeth bailey, it reminds me of a story. I know a mother and a daughter, both born in Italy. The mother traveled to the U.S. for two weeks on business and complained that the food here was awful. A few years later, the daughter moved the U.S. and told her mother that there is good food in the U.S., but they label it “gourmet.”


    It’s sad that what once was and should still be common — the basic act of eating healthy food — has now become gourmet, artisanal, and something reserved for foodies, hipsters, and the affluent. This country succeeded in feeding hundreds of millions of people, but it succeeded in feeding them crap.


  78. James Raden Living in Central Florida with all the exchange students for Disney’s Epcot.  This is rote.  My dad loves the resorts, especially animal kingdom.  His major was zoology so he especially likes Animal Kingdom Lodge.  


    There was one girl, maybe from France, who in her first two weeks here got so sick she could not work.  She had to have food shipped to her.


    Your story is completely believable.  Sad, but believable. 


  79. Rajini Rao I will call you sugar sugar if you will date me:)))!


  80. James Raden The companies are selling food that will only make you want to buy more because you are still hungry. Little nutritional value. I have never heard a US president mention this but other countries have: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/jun/19/battle-to-end-hunger-leadership-needed


  81. Here is the conclusion of a recent post of mine.


    “The Romans knew lead piping was bad for people, but it was cheap.  The incentive for corporations to find benefits in cheap preservatives or flavor enhancers is significant.  Just look at how many years cigarettes were good for you or the results were inconclusive based on scientific research.”


    Do some google searches on how MSG is actually good for you or artificial sweeteners.  There is all kinds of science sounding stuff out there telling people to eat MSG, use salt alternatives like potassium chloride (excessive long term use of this will lead to heart palpitations, lovely), and sugar alternatives.


    Addiction is a sound business model in the USA and it is not a new thing either.  Just newer gimmicks.


    By the way, if you see disodium inosinate in the ingredients, its going to have MSG even if you cannot find MSG on the label.  There are a lot of alternate names for MSG now that most people realize this is not a healthy thing to put in your body.  Disodium inosinate is ineffective without MSG.  So where you have one you have the other.


    #diet   #nutrition   #healthyeating   #msg  

  82. Linda Dee says:


    Rajini Rao I LOVE your  posts and always wanted to have a conversation with you.  My stemcell therapist cures almost all diseases including Cancer, blindness, ALS, and the brain disorders.  I would have been dead as a teen if it were not for the stem cells.  If you like research I can tell you about the research done in many countries with stem cells starting back in the eighteen hundreds.  I will be writing a book on it soon but I am always delighted in sharing…


    I read your about me page and Freddie Mercury was an amazing man!  I met him in Ibiza at Pike’s, his favorite place to holiday and to write.  He was an inspiration to me and my musical endeavors. 

  83. Rajini Rao says:


    Linda Dee thank you for the compliment. I would be interested in seeing your book about stem cell research, so let me know when it’s ready. How lucky that you got to meet Freddie Mercury in person, what a voice and talent! I’m delighted that we share a love for Freddie and science. Keep in touch!

  84. Sameer Dubey says:


    It’s really a nice post.

  85. Frank Atwood says:


    This doesn’t surprise me.


  86. good move for Pepsi to drop aspartame.


  87. The FDA finally acknowledged that artificial trans fat is bad for you in any quantity.


    The first medical paper published based on autopsies of cardiac arrest patients in 1957 showed this.


    Is it not amazing how you are considered a conspiracy nut for not eating something until the FDA or college of American says it is bad for you.

  88. Rajini Rao says:


    Elizabeth bailey this is an old thread, so forgive me if my comment is not completely in context. My sense is that dietary studies are notoriously hard to get right. They are not in a controlled setting, humans are inconsistent subjects and there are far too many genetic and environmental variables that confound the interpretations. I tend to take dietary recommendations with a pinch of salt (not too much!!). 

  89. Chad Haney says:


    Rajini Rao​, we have a nutritionist on our team for the U01 proposal we just submitted. Her role will be to help sort patients based on diet. We know we don’t have a large enough sample size because of the huge variability in patients and their diets. Another arm of the study will utilize placentas from patients that have changed their diet for another study where diet intervention is the aim. My point is that she has made it clear how difficult nutrition is to control in studies.

  90. Rajini Rao says:


    Makes sense, Chad Haney . All good luck with the proposal! 


  91. Rajini Rao Also read medical journals not news. They over simplify to the point of obfuscation.


  92. If we weren’t addicted to other drinks then water is always the best for us.


  93. It fascinates me that when this thread was started, if you said artificial trans fats caused heart attacks you would have been accused of believing in conspiracy theories.


    Even though the first medical paper was published in 1957. Now that someone sued the FDA forcing them to address the data is it bad for you.

  94. Frank Atwood says:


    Elizabeth bailey Anything in excess is bad. The key is moderation.


  95. Frank Atwood This is true but some things are just bad for you. It is moderation in your vices.

  96. Frank Atwood says:


    Elizabeth bailey Indeed.

  97. Chad Haney says:


    Not exactly. You can die from drinking too much water. I think Frank Atwood’s statement is more general. All things in moderation.


  98. Elizabeth bailey – I don’t think your statement about the timing of developing knowledge about the health impacts of trans fats, and subsequent government response (in the US and elsewhere) is fully accurate. The Wikipedia article on trans fats, while imperfect, has more information if you are interested


    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans_fat


  99. Steve Esterly OK my timing could be off but my point is that many people (some people on Google science community) often act like you are a conspiracy theorist for not eating something until the FDA or the college of American physicians say it is bad for you.


    Then afterwards they take the approach that somehow they were not wrong or fail to respond to comments about it.


  100. Whenever i drink or eat artificial sweets i can taste it and i get a feeling of being hungry. Just after one bite or sip…

  101. Kilee Bough says:


    My favorite thing is when someone is like I want the big Mac meal supersized oh and diet coke to drink….. Like that makes it balance out. Lmao

  102. Kilee Bough says:


    Linda Dee amazing! I have cancer for the second time in a little over a year. Had surgeries like crazy…. Been so sick still tried to work. Have a 4 yr old son. It’s been so rough. Lost our place cause I couldn’t afford to pay the bills and rent. It’s torn our lives apart. I’m going to have surgery soon. I hope that this is the last one. #6. Sick and tired of being sick and tired. Wish there were more treatment places with stem cell research .

  103. Frank Atwood says:


    Kilee Bough hang in there! keep that good attitude, and never give up. Easier said than done, I’m sure.

  104. Kilee Bough says:


    Frank Atwood thanks… I appreciate your comment. I’m not a quitter even though it is hard.

  105. Kilee Bough says:


    Rajini Rao you are such a well spoken knowledgeable smart woman…. I have enjoyed our conversations

  106. Cecy Gzz says:


    I only take sugar from fruits. Every now and then I bite a sugary thing, but less often than before. I Use very little sweeteners and I’m learning that that is what suits best to my body. I’ve lost with little effort weight (in a slow manner) that was not possible years back.

  107. 1 0 says:


    So sweet of you to share this, thanks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s