Sweet Deceit – repost from Tending the Healthy Hearth 5/8/2010

Diet soda, anyone? Calories are not the biggest concern when sweet hits the palate. Science News has published some interesting new research. While the wonders of modern chemistry may have separated sweet from calories, our ancient metabolic design doesn’t know the difference.

What caught my eye among the loads of information collected here was the discovery of “sensory taste cells” in the stomach. Just as those mighty taste buds on our tongue stimulate saliva production, the taste buds in our gut prepare for digestion, even if there is nothing to digest, as is the case for diet soda, sugarless gum and the like. So, when we taste something sweet, even if it has no calories, all the metabolic functions are initiated to digest a high-energy source. This means insulin production is stimulated regardless of the actual glucose in the bloodstream.

Physicians have long wondered why glucose administered intravenously doesn’t effect blood sugar levels in the same way it does when administered orally. Those gut taste buds are at least part of the answer.

This is exciting territory, but difficult for the scientific community to investigate due to differences in what tastes sweet to different animals, laboratory rats, included. However, the new frontier of gastrointestinal taste buds may propose answers to much needed questions as we continue to stare at today’s health crisis.

None of us likes to be deceived. When we offer our system a false indicator like artificial sweeteners, we’ve been tricked and mayhem follows. Offer this bit of information to those you love who use artificial sweeteners. They will thank you from their gut!

Posted in Uncategorized on 05/08/2010 02:07 pm

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