Low calorie sweeteners have no effect on glucose control and metabolism

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ISA statement in response to study by Romo-Romo et al.

Low calorie sweeteners have no effect on glucose control and metabolism as demonstrated by collective evidence from human clinical trials and recently reconfirmed in a systematic review and meta-analysis of 29 human trials, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition by Nichol et al.1, which concluded that the consumption of low calorie sweeteners does not affect blood glucose levels and that this effect does not differ by type of low calorie sweetener including sucralose.

The recent study by Romo-Romo et al.2 does not show that sucralose affects acute or long-term blood glucose control. The clinical significance of the study is difficult to evaluate since data about blood glucose levels after the intervention are missing from the publication. Additionally, given the complex aetiology of insulin resistance and the many factors affecting insulin sensitivity, it is unlikely that the observed differences could be attributed to sucralose intake, especially since the diets of the intervention and the control group were not totally controlled.

Finally, the International Sweeteners Association (ISA) would like to highlight that a strong body of robust studies, of longer duration and higher dose compared to the study just published by Romo-Romo et al., have shown that sucralose specifically does not adversely affect either blood glucose control or insulin secretion3.

  1. Nichol et al. Glycemic impact of non-nutritive sweeteners: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. EJCN 2018; 72: 796-804
  2. Romo-Romo et al. Sucralose decreases insulin sensitivity in healthy subjects: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2018;108:485–491
  3. Grotz et al. A 12-week randomized clinical trial investigating the potential for sucralose to affect glucose homeostasis. Regul Toxicol and Pharmacol 2017; 88: 22-33