Artificial sweeteners have gotten a bad rap of late. Rumor has it that they increase appetite, weight, or worse yet, disease risk. While most of this research is unfounded, a study from the Agricultural University of Athens in Greece reports that one artificial sweetener, Splenda, might actually help with control of diabetes. Researchers compared blood sugar, insulin, and c-peptide responses (which gauge how much insulin the body is producing) in people with type 2 diabetes after eating desserts made with sucralose (the no-calorie sweetener in Splenda) and dextrin (a soluble fiber) to the same responses in those people after eating the desserts made with sugar. Results showed that the diabetics who ate desserts made with Splenda had lower after-meal glucose and insulin levels compared to after they ate the same desserts made with sugar. The researchers conclude that, “…[this]study supports the wide body of research that confirms sucralose does not increase blood sugar or insulin level…and can be a great tool in diabetes meal planning.”
Argyri K, Sotiropoulos A, Psarou E, et al: Dessert formulation using sucralose and dextrin affects favorably postprandial response to glucose, insulin, and c-peptide in type 2 diabetic patients. Review of Diabetes Research 2013;10:39-48.