Various articles suggest that artificial sweeteners cause the body to respond with an increased insulin release, which may be associated with diabetes.

Researchers found that consuming the sucralose was associated with higher blood sugar peaks and 20 percent higher insulin levels compared with consuming the water, though they noted more studies are needed to determine the actual health effects of a 20 percent increase in insulin.

Is there any evidence for this?

  • 3
    The Huffington Post article cites a peer-reviewed published study. If that isn't enough evidence for you, what do you want? Commented Jul 27, 2014 at 23:24
  • Sucralose IS sugar, with three critical OH groups replaced by a Chlorine atom. This means your body cannot digest it, but there is no reason to suspect it cannot signal some sugar receptors. Proof? It tastes sweet!
    – Nick
    Commented Jul 28, 2014 at 10:00

1 Answer 1


Yes, there is evidence for what is provided in the article. And this evidence is extremely easy to find since this evidence is linked from the Huffington Post article.

Take a look:

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If you click on journal Diabetes Care, you will find an academic/scholarly article. Guess what is the most important thing in academic/scholary articles? They have to pass an academic quality assessment before they can be published in an academic journal.

Usually, they always start with an abstract which is a short summary of the article as well as a description of the objective, method, result and conclusion of the study. This is the abstract of the academic article Huffington Post took info from.

OBJECTIVE Nonnutritive sweeteners (NNS), such as sucralose, have been reported to have metabolic effects in animal models. However, the relevance of these findings to human subjects is not clear. We evaluated the acute effects of sucralose ingestion on the metabolic response to an oral glucose load in obese subjects.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Seventeen obese subjects (BMI 42.3 ± 1.6 kg/m2) who did not use NNS and were insulin sensitive (based on a homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance score ≤2.6) underwent a 5-h modified oral glucose tolerance test on two separate occasions preceded by consuming either sucralose (experimental condition) or water (control condition) 10 min before the glucose load in a randomized crossover design. Indices of β-cell function, insulin sensitivity (SI), and insulin clearance rates were estimated by using minimal models of glucose, insulin, and C-peptide kinetics.

RESULTS Compared with the control condition, sucralose ingestion caused 1) a greater incremental increase in peak plasma glucose concentrations (4.2 ± 0.2 vs. 4.8 ± 0.3 mmol/L; P = 0.03), 2) a 20 ± 8% greater incremental increase in insulin area under the curve (AUC) (P < 0.03), 3) a 22 ± 7% greater peak insulin secretion rate (P < 0.02), 4) a 7 ± 4% decrease in insulin clearance (P = 0.04), and 5) a 23 ± 20% decrease in SI (P = 0.01). There were no significant differences between conditions in active glucagon-like peptide 1, glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide, glucagon incremental AUC, or indices of the sensitivity of the β-cell response to glucose.

CONCLUSIONS These data demonstrate that sucralose affects the glycemic and insulin responses to an oral glucose load in obese people who do not normally consume NNS.

Received October 29, 2012. Accepted March 5, 2013. © 2013 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ for details.

The full article is available for free here, feel free to read it.

  • 1
    How do these numbers compare to eating real sugar?
    – user137
    Commented Aug 3, 2014 at 2:32

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