Long-term sweetener intake could accelerate the development of type 2 diabetes, according to a I am a student performed by Dr. Galileo Escobedo of UNAM.
Sweeteners were created as an alternative to sugar for patients with obesity and/or diabetes and there are two types: artificial ones such as sucralose and natural ones such as stevia.
According to Dr. Escobedo, «when the sweetener enters the body, insulin levels increase», because its consumption forces the functioning of the pancreas.
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Studies done at UNAM showed that only 7% of sucralose is absorbed and that this amount promotes insulin release.
After a long time, consumption of these substances could cause stress and loss of ability to produce insulin, which already occurs in patients with diabetes.
Insulin is responsible for opening the cells so that glucose is incorporated into them and normalize the blood sugar level.
When someone has diabetes, insulin is not recognized so glucose cannot enter those cells. This causes an increase in blood sugar and although the pancreas produces more insulin, glucose does not reduce.
Because of this, in patients with this condition, the pancreas is depleted and stops producing insulin.
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Dr. Escobedo points out that people consume sweeteners a lot in a day, which could increase the incidence of diabetes in the population.
Since the consumption of sweeteners is not harmless, it is recommended to drink pure water and consume sugars in the form of fruits, vegetables and cereals.
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