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Appetite. 1988;11 Suppl 1:12-5.

The effect of non-nutritive sweeteners on body weight in rats.

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  • 1Department of Medical Physiology, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


Artificial sweeteners are used to provide a sweet taste to a food while removing the calories associated with sugar. The importance of non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) for the control of body weight has never been proved. In this long-term study, 81 rats fed ad libitum on chow and water were given either an 11% sucrose solution, a solution artificially sweetened with saccharin and aspartame or served as controls. Over an 8-week period, the sucrose rats gained considerable weight while the NNS rats showed the same weight gain as controls. When the sweetened solutions were switched, obese sucrose rats lost weight during the next 8 weeks while rats previously on NNS gained weight rapidly. The results show that substitution of artificial sweeteners for sugars prevents weight gain and promotes weight loss in rats.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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