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19.11.2011


High-Fructose Corn Syrup makes you fat; aspartame helps you slim

Sweeteners like aspartame have a bad name in some circles. So much so, that you'd be forgiven for forgetting that sugars found in regular soft drinks, like High-Fructose Corn Syrup, are probably more dangerous than artificial sweeteners. According to a 1990 study, soft drinks containing High-Fructose Corn Syrup make you put on weight fast, whereas if you switch to soft drinks sweetened with aspartame you'll lose weight.

Aspartaam
The researchers at Monell Chemical Senses Center were funded by the American department of agriculture to do an experiment with 9 women and 21 men in their twenties.

The experiment lasted a total of nine weeks, and was divided into three periods, each lasting three weeks. In one period the subjects had to drink daily three small bottles of light-coke, sweetened with aspartame [structural formula shown here]. In another period the subjects had to drink three small bottles of coke sweetened with High-Fructose Corn Syrup, and in the third period the subjects drank no soft drinks.

The table below shows the nutritional value of the total amount of cola that the subjects drank on a daily basis. APM = aspartame cola, HFCS = High-Fructose Corn Syrup cola.


High-Fructose Corn Syrup makes you fat; aspartame helps you slim


During the period that the subjects drank the High-Fructose Corn Syrup cola, the men gained 0.64 kg and the women 0.61 kg weight. The effect was statistically significant. When the subjects drank aspartame cola they lost weight. The weight loss was only statistically significant in the men.


High-Fructose Corn Syrup makes you fat; aspartame helps you slim


From the food logs that the subjects kept it became clear where the weight increase came from: from the sugars in the High-Fructose Corn Syrup cola. Although the subjects that ingested sugars via the soft drink got lower amounts of carbohydrates from the rest of their food, the decrease was less than the 530 calories of sugar that they consumed via the cola.


High-Fructose Corn Syrup makes you fat; aspartame helps you slim


High-Fructose Corn Syrup makes you fat; aspartame helps you slim


The body doesn't register the energy you consume via High-Fructose Corn Syrup soft drinks. That's why zero-calorie sweeteners are a help to people who want to lose weight but don't want to give up soft drinks.

Source:
Am J Clin Nutr. 1990 Jun;51(6):963-9.