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Associations Between Nonnutritive Sweetener Intake and Metabolic Syndrome in Adults

Hess, Erica L., Myers, Emily A., Swithers, Susan E., Hedrick, Valisa E.
Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2018 v.37 no.6 pp. 487-493
acesulfame potassium, adults, aspartame, blood pressure, diet, energy intake, glucose, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, nonnutritive sweeteners, nutritional adequacy, physical activity, regression analysis, risk factors, saccharin, sucralose, triacylglycerols, waist circumference, Virginia
Objective: Individuals looking to improve their health or weight status often use nonnutritive sweeteners (NNS), yet NNS consumption has been associated with increased risk factors for metabolic syndrome (MetS). Most studies examining NNS only assess total intake using diet soda as a proxy for NNS consumption, without distinguishing potential risks associated with individual sweeteners. The objective of this cross-sectional investigation was to identify whether there were associations between NNS consumption (total or individual) and risk factors for MetS in adults (n = 125) from Southwest Virginia. Methods: Participants provided three 24-hour dietary recalls and blood pressure, waist circumference, fasting glucose, triglycerides, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol were assessed. Linear regression models, adjusted for age, sex, caloric intake, dietary quality, and physical activity, examined associations between total and individual types of NNS with MetS and MetS risk factors. Results: Sixty-three participants were classified as NNS consumers and eighteen met the criteria for MetS. While no significant associations between MetS and NNS consumption were found, waist circumference was positively associated with total NNS, saccharin, sucralose, and acesulfame potassium, and both fasting glucose and triglyceride values were positively associated with total NNS and aspartame consumption. Conclusion: While these cross-sectional data are consistent with previous work implicating NNS in development of MetS, additional research using randomized controlled trials is needed to clarify whether and how NNS in general or specific NNS might contribute to risk factors for MetS. This trial was registered at (NCT03364452).