The following is a Letter to the Editor that was published in the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal in response to Dr.Oz’s ‘Time to rethink your diet drink’ article.
Sweeteners are Safe
The “big impact” study that this article refers to also used “big impact” doses – around 400-1000 times the acceptable daily intake set by regulatory authorities for low calorie sweeteners (LCS). The average intake by consumers of these sweeteners is only about 1/10th of theacceptable daily intake. Saying you should give up diet beverages based on this study is like saying you should give up drinking milk because of the adverse effects of megadoses of Vitamin A. Nonsense.
Let’s look at studies where hundreds of participants (not just seven) were assigned to drink diet beverages, sugar-sweetened beverages, or water only for weeks to months. What happens? Repeatedly, we see LCS showing beneficial effects, sometimes even more so than water, including improved blood glucose control, reduced body weight and success in maintaining weight loss.
What about those studies observing a higher consumption of diet beverages in people who are overweight? Observations don’t prove cause and effect. The good news is that there are now many long-term studies, which definitely show that for many, choosing foods and beverages with LCS can help them achieve a healthier outcome.
While recommending drinking more water and eating more fruit are certainly great suggestions, we know that just doesn’t work for everyone.
Berna Magnuson, PhD, Toronto