“Caution” warranted if consuming artificial sweeteners.


Consumption of noncaloric, artificially sweetened beverages (ASBs) is associated with an increased risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease, according to an opinion article by Dr Susan E Swithers (Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN) published online July 10, 2013 in Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism.

“This somewhat counterintuitive result may reflect negative consequences of interfering with learned relationships between sweet tastes and typical postingestive outcomes.” Swithers writes.

The prospective studies Swithers reviewed found an elevated risk for weight gain and obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and hypertension in those who consumed ASBs. No decreased risk for weight gain or increased body fat percentage was associated with ASB intake.

It was often difficult to compare the magnitude of increased risk with that of participants who consumed sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), in part because of differences in intake.


Studies that separately assessed risk among those who were not overweight or obese at baseline found that the risks of becoming overweight or obese, developing type 2 diabetes, and experiencing vascular events were increased.

So, Caution would be advised while consuming artificial sweeteners.

It would be best to follow a healthy lifestyle and diet along with exercise to ward off obesity in the long run!


via “Caution” warranted if consuming artificial sweeteners | theheart.org.

Air pollution ups heart failure deaths, hospitalizations and costs.


Modest reductions in air pollution could prevent almost 8000 hospitalizations for heart failure and save hundreds of millions of healthcare dollars in the US alone, authors of a new study estimate.

Dr Anoop SV Shah and colleagues University of Edinburgh, Scotland combined data from 35 studies addressing the health effects of air pollution that included heart-failure end points. In all, data from 12 countries were included in their review, published online in the Lancet.


They found that of the common airborne pollutants, carbon monoxide was the most frequently studied and was associated with the largest increase in heart-failure hospitalizations or death, although all “gaseous and particulate air pollutants” with the exception of ozone were associated with increased HF hospitalization or HF mortality.


HF hospitalization or mortality was increased by 3.52% for every 1-ppm increase in carbon monoxide. For sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, the corresponding increase in risk was 2.36% and 1.70%, respectively, for every 10-ppb increase. For every 10-µg/m3-increase in particulate matter, HF hospitalizations or mortality was increased by 2%.


Of note, hospitalizations and deaths from HF peaked at times when air quality was the worst, Shaw and colleagues observed.


via Air pollution and heart failure | theheart.org.