The role of low-calorie sweeteners in diabetes

Publication Name: US Endocrinology, 2013;9(1):13–5

Author(s): Johnston CA, Stevens B, and Foreyt JP. | Publication Year: 2013

Abstract

As the incidence and prevalence of type 2 diabetes continue to rise, the identification of components that contribute to or are associated with this disease has become a priority. One of the main factors that has been linked to type 2 diabetes is excessive weight gain, and reduction in weight has been recommended for both diabetes prevention and management. Low-calorie sweeteners (LCS) provide an alternative to added sugars and may facilitate weight loss or maintenance by limiting caloric intake. Considerable attention has been given to the role of LCS and their relationship to type 2 diabetes. Research suggests that LCS can serve an important role in diabetes prevention and management. Substituting sugars with LCS provides patients with type 2 diabetes considerable flexibility in their health goals and personal dietary preferences.

Summary

Current findings have documented that LCS are safe for consumption in a normal diet, including for people with diabetes. These conclusions are consistent with recommendations from both the American Diabetes Association and the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics. Low calorie sweeteners can serve an important role in diabetes prevention and management. Substituting sugars with LCS provides patients with type 2 diabetes considerable flexibility in their health goals and personal dietary choices.

While the use of LCS for the prevention and treatment of diabetes and weight loss is promising, there is a need for randomized controlled trials to further advance the understanding of the role that LCS plays in diabetes prevention and management.