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Old 04-11-2016, 03:53 PM   #1
clackley
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I must have missed the news...

It seems to me that every knowledgable health advocate is 100% against any artificial sweeteners. What I seem to have missed us where is all thus scientific evidence to support this position?

Can anyone provide some reliable data? I really am at a loss....
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Old 04-11-2016, 07:51 PM   #2
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Mostly what I read or hear people say is something to the effect of, "There's no real evidence, but they can't be good."

Even Dr. Fung, in his book ckock-full of citations, says not to use AS but gives no real reasons why.
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Old 04-12-2016, 06:03 AM   #3
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This is what I have been finding and okay, I can see how a.s. can be considered totally foreign and therefore not necessarily good but if it is indeed negative to human health, why is there not conclusive scientific evidence? It just really bothers me. It seems like some of the people whom I really respect are not following the scientific evidence.

And how can a group of foods under the label 'artificial sweeteners' all be described as toxic when they are all quite unique in their makeup? Stevia gets a pass because it comes from a plant but not xylitol even though it comes from wood?????? Sucralose is an altered sugar molecule and aspartame is a very different chemical compound.

Sugar, on the other hand is well documented to the damage it can create and yet even Dr. Fung allows it (discouraged but not totally restricted). It makes no sense to me.
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"The energy content of food (calories) matters, but it is less important than the metabolic effect of food on our body." Dr. P. Attia
“Eat animals. Mostly fat. Enjoy!
"I resist insulin" Hyperlipid
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Old 04-12-2016, 06:30 AM   #4
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what I would like to see is real evidence that AS increases insulin levels. I can see how it might do it for some people--in a kind of pavlovian way (the taste of sweet causes the brain to anticipate an increase in BS--stimulus response--not in an actual biological way. I've tested my BS after AS and no change, altho I now get that this is not actually indicative of what is happening with insulin. I know that I personally get cravings for sweet things--if I stick with sweetened drinks, I am ok, but eating sweetened foods seems to set up cravings for more. I know that when I have periodically stopped eating anything sweetened, I lose the cravings for sweets and some natural things (broccoli!) taste more sweet to me, and if I taste anything sweetened it tastes disgustingly sweet--which suggests to me some kind of "sweet adaptation."

But--on the other hand, having a sweetened hot drink (hot lemonade) helps me fast so I have not eliminated AS.

I just can't tell if the AS "insulin" response is real or not, because I haven't seen real data I believe it may be more idiographic than nomothetic.
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Old 04-12-2016, 06:33 AM   #5
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I have been wondering the same thing.
It is very confusing. Dr. Fung says no artificial Sweetners but a little sugar is OK?
I think maybe he feels this is in line with his idea of eating whole, unprocessed foods.
The thought being that sugar is less processed than AF Sweetners?
I have not read his book but I have seen many of his videos.
Doesn't he say that fruit is OK because it has fiber?
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Old 04-12-2016, 06:37 AM   #6
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I hear you!

I have been fasting and leaving off any and all a.s. during the fasting period. I miss having a stick of gum to chew but it is not the biggest deal by any means. When I am having my OMAD, I do have a a.s. drink and may have a.s. food - not necessarily. Nothing after but water. I will also add that I have spent month in a ketogenic state with total elimination of all a.s. and it neither effected my weight or my blood ketones. Insulin - ???

Need some reliable data! Why can't insulin be home tested or some what seem like easy studies be done?
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Old 04-12-2016, 06:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabel Lee View Post
I have been wondering the same thing.
It is very confusing. Dr. Fung says no artificial Sweetners but a little sugar is OK?
I think maybe he feels this is in line with his idea of eating whole, unprocessed foods.
The thought being that sugar is less processed than AF Sweetners?
I have not read his book but I have seen many of his videos.
Doesn't he say that fruit is OK because it has fiber?
Hi Annabel Lee!

I know someone who is a patient of Dr. Fung and she has been very kind in sharing what is being advised and yes, Dr. Fung's program is whole foods and yes, fruit is allowed so is honey and other sugary things of that nature. He does however, suggest that it might be easier to stick to low carb food choices. I am guessing the deal is to get people to fast and not worry so much about the non-fasting periods to get some compliance.
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Old 04-12-2016, 06:51 AM   #8
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I have never noticed a change on or off AS. I lost 80 lbs with lots of diet soda (I know that doesn't mean it is good for me) with the first 40 being LC and I'm sure lowered insulin had something to do with it, because I was eating plenty.

I just don't know. Like Cathy, my current compromise is no AS during fasting periods, but I'm not sure that's doing anything. Saturday I fasted until late afternoon, but had a couple of diet sodas while out and about running errands. I had my first drop in a while the next day. Probably coincidence I know.
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Old 04-12-2016, 07:39 AM   #9
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Thanks Cathy,

I guess he is saying that as long as you fast, a little sugar (honey) is OK. The idea that the fasting has such a huge impact on insulin, therefore your body can handle the sugar, fruit ect.

Thank goodness I am comfortable picking and choosing! I have been OMAD for a month, LCLF, no sugar, little AF Sweetners (during my meal only). Down 17 just like that. Didn't think this old body could do that any more! I really believe that for me, if I were to be eating sugar during my meal I would have a much harder time fasting. As it is, my hunger waves have almost disappeared. At this point in life I am more concerned with repairing the damage that long term low fat, low calorie diet has done to my system. I have lost close to 100 pounds twice eating that way. Not good.
So I would say eating AF Sweetners is better for me than eating sugar.
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Old 04-12-2016, 10:19 AM   #10
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Personally, aspartame irritates my kidneys/bladder. And makes me crave sweets.
Otherwise I use a little stevia (coffee during the fasting window) and a tad sucralose. Neither of which send me on a carb-seeking frenzy nor affect my weight at all. I chew xylitol gum once daily. No affect either.

I too really wish we could test insulin ourselves.
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Old 04-18-2016, 02:35 PM   #11
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In April of 2015, an Israeli team published a study in the journal "Gut Microbes" called "Non-caloric artificial sweeteners and the microbiome: findings and challenges"

You should be able to find the full article, not just the abstract, if you're good with Pub Med searches. I think that article is what everyone is basing the "danger to the gut micrbiome" theory on lately.

It's a mouse study, so many people choose to ignore the findings since it wasn't tested on humans. Even the authors conclude that their findings were preliminary and "open questions that need to be addressed in understanding the effects of NAS consumption on human health." They are not conclusory.

The question for each of us to answer is whether we want to wait for definitive proof or err on the side of caution by reducing the use of AS. It's up to each of us to decide for ourselves.
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Old 04-18-2016, 02:45 PM   #12
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If a little stevia or sucralose keeps me on track with weight loss and doesn't spike my blood sugar, I'm okay with it. If I was to eat fruit every day or honey, all bets would be off. My bs spikes like crazy with either one. I also limit AS to meal times. I fought ditching the AS in my morning coffee, but once I got used to it, its fine with me now. I guess we're fending for ourselves with deciding if AS is okay for us or not.
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Old 04-18-2016, 03:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janknitz View Post
In April of 2015, an Israeli team published a study in the journal "Gut Microbes" called "Non-caloric artificial sweeteners and the microbiome: findings and challenges"

You should be able to find the full article, not just the abstract, if you're good with Pub Med searches. I think that article is what everyone is basing the "danger to the gut micrbiome" theory on lately.

It's a mouse study, so many people choose to ignore the findings since it wasn't tested on humans. Even the authors conclude that their findings were preliminary and "open questions that need to be addressed in understanding the effects of NAS consumption on human health." They are not conclusory.

The question for each of us to answer is whether we want to wait for definitive proof or err on the side of caution by reducing the use of AS. It's up to each of us to decide for ourselves.
Yes. I am familiar with this study that was 'almost good'. I believe it is the same one that included a very small human study component as well. It fell down on a few important points.

I agree that definitive studies might be years out and it is a personal decision whether to include a.s. In ones diet is a decision we must make.
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Old 04-18-2016, 04:21 PM   #14
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For my own self, I started limiting AS to my eating window (if do IF) and hold it to "treats." Diet soda is my main AS consumption, I eat little to none in anything else, so I try to think of a diet Coke after dinner as a treat or dessert, instead of drinking it all day long like water.

I'm not sure it is "bad" for me, but I am sure it doesn't contribute to health, like something like spinach does. Neutral is about the best I can hope for.
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Old 04-24-2016, 05:09 AM   #15
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I am one of the few people whose anxiety increases from using stevia. I would go nuts without my sweeteners. Erythritol seems to be the best for me, but it is a little more expensive. I still have artificial sweeteners on a daily basis. I have always had a sweet tooth, and even a little real sugar sends me off the rails with blood sugar swings.
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Old 05-07-2016, 02:27 AM   #16
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We are all different and react differently to stuff we ingest. I don't follow anyone's word as the law, but I find what works for me. For instance, for me, a little stevia in my tea does not set off any cravings, but a little honey has me chasing sweetness all day long.

I don't think artificial sweeteners are bad, but some people may react to them just like sugar. I think all of them should be used sparingly anyway.
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Old 05-10-2016, 03:14 AM   #17
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Sounds like most people posting here just use a small amount of a.s. The 1/2 tablespoon of DaVinci syrup that I use in my bulletproof coffee once a day is staying in the rotation for now. Maybe someday I'll get down to 1 teaspoonful. Not worried.
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Old 05-21-2016, 07:19 PM   #18
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I use in my coffee a few times a day and I drink a lot of crystal light. I have given up most of my diet soda. I still have it as a treat just not often.
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Old 05-22-2016, 02:31 PM   #19
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My Neuro/Pysc (yes she is dual board certified) drinks diet coke. She s******ed at me when I told her I dropped aspertame. Afterall even Maxalt-MLT my rescue migraine med has it in it. So at least according to Merck and my Main Dr. Aspertame at least is good enough for her to drink and she has Migraines herself. I am finding after decades of Aspertame it is giving me a glucose like effect but it seems to be dwindling the longer I am in Ketosis which is good. I drink only CLEAR, DECAF diet sparklies and Aspertame only. I use Birch xylitol a little bit too.
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Old 07-27-2016, 01:28 AM   #20
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I would be curious to know the difference between using stevia/surcalose/saccharine in the liquid form versus powder/bulk (1:1 volume sugar replacement products) since the powder adds maltodextrin.
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Old 07-29-2016, 09:04 PM   #21
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Butter Bob has a very good video about AS. He does a great job explaining the differences be tween the different kinds.
I have finally given them up and I am happy to say the scale is moving down a little faster.
I only have a few berries every once in a while.
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Old 07-30-2016, 06:52 AM   #22
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I think that a.s. - just like sugar is highly palatable to me and might encourage eating more of a 'sweetened' food. This in and of itself if a good reason to limit a.s. and be conscious of it's effect in that way. I do remember that way back the Atkin's attitude toward desserts sweetened with a.s. were considered appropriate for those that were in maintenance but not for those still in weight loss mode. That is how I try to think of them. But none of this applies to a.s. soda pop.
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Old 07-30-2016, 07:43 AM   #23
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If you look online (or even on this board) you can find people who individually report similar sets of symptoms when eating certain artificial sweeteners. For instance, sucralose -> suicidal thoughts or lack of attention; asparatame -> nerve tingling and muscle spasms.

It may be a minority of people who experience these things but, all the same, if you're in that minority, personal experience not 'science' is what matters.
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Old 07-30-2016, 08:56 AM   #24
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Of course if one has identified a reaction to any a.s., they would not need science to confirm their experiences but sometimes things get muddled with confounding factors and that is where science can be helpful.
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Old 07-31-2016, 02:23 PM   #25
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My thoughts

I think some of the anti-A.S. positions come from two areas:

1. I think health and nutrition experts are afraid to endorse artificial sweeteners because there is perception that they are unhealthy and it could be detrimental to endorse their use if new studies were to come out showing they cause cancer, increased insulin response, etc. A weak, but somewhat fair analogy might be cigarettes. We know a lot more about cigarettes now than we did fifty years ago when some doctors were still saying they did not pose a significant health risk. We really don't know what the long-term health risks might be for using many artificial sweeteners. So, from a conservative perspective it is probably safer for health experts to avoid endorsing them.

2. There is a lot of evidence supporting eating natural foods, and I think through diets/lifestyles like paleo it is becoming the norm to reject anything that is not natural. While this might make a lot of sense when trying to balance omega 3 : omega 6 ratios, avoiding processed foods with numerous preservatives and hidden carbs, etc., it had become a blanket philosophy to the extent that those following a ketogenic diet/lifestyle may feel that they cannot be successful on the diet unless they are eating grass fed meats, avoiding anything with gluten or grain of any kind, staying away from artificial sweeteners, and not using polyunsaturated fats. While some may choose to avoid all of these things, if your goal is simply to be in ketosis to enjoy the therapeutic benefits and lose weight, then I'm really not sure all of these things are necessary for every person individually.

You have to make decisions that are sustainable and what is best for you. If I were to never allow myself to eat anything sweet again, then this lifestyle would not be sustainable for me.
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Old 08-06-2016, 12:38 PM   #26
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This may have been posted already, but I think it bears repeating, since so many of us are eating VLC and fasting to lower our insulin levels.

It has pretty recently come out that AS raise insulin levels although they may not affect BG levels. In fact, some are even advertised as not affecting BG, all the while raising insulin levels.

In his book The Obesity Code, page 172, Jason Fung, MD, states that sucralose raises insulin 20% and aspartame and stevia raise insulin levels more than table sugar.

I avoid all AS now (after 36 years of drinking diet sodas) and will use very small amounts like a half teaspoon or less of organic cane sugar to sweeten a smoothie.

I do have a good quality ice cream bar once in a while that has sugar.

Basically, though, I want to totally get away from the taste of baked goods, whether traditional or LC with AS. Any of them can make me want to eat the whole batch (no matter what they may be).

I also eat a few squares a day of organic dark chocolate which contain small amounts of sugar.

My 85% choc. has 1 carb/square, and the 72% choc. has 1.5 carbs/square.

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Old 08-07-2016, 05:16 AM   #27
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Quote:
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This may have been posted already, but I think it bears repeating, since so many of us are eating VLC and fasting to lower our insulin levels.

It has pretty recently come out that AS raise insulin levels although they may not affect BG levels. In fact, some are even advertised as not affecting BG, all the while raising insulin levels.

In his book The Obesity Code, page 172, Jason Fung, MD, states that sucralose raises insulin 20% and aspartame and stevia raise insulin levels more than table sugar.

I avoid all AS now (after 36 years of drinking diet sodas) and will use very small amounts like a half teaspoon or less of organic cane sugar to sweeten a smoothie.

I do have a good quality ice cream bar once in a while that has sugar.

Basically, though, I want to totally get away from the taste of baked goods, whether traditional or LC with AS. Any of them can make me want to eat the whole batch (no matter what they may be).

I also eat a few squares a day of organic dark chocolate which contain small amounts of sugar.

My 85% choc. has 1 carb/square, and the 72% choc. has 1.5 carbs/square.
I too try to avoid artificial sweeteners, but I am not ready to completely give them up. I am down to a diet coke or diet pepsi only a couple times a week, whereas I used to have 4-5 A DAY! I do consume aspartame in my sugar-free jello, and I use erythritol, with stevia, frequently to sweeten iced tea and many other foods and beverages. It seems the research on blood glucose and insulin response to artificial sweeteners is still not clear. One study, which Jason Fung bases his assertion on, shows that in 17 humans there was some insulin and blood sugar response to sucralose, but in other studies, like this one: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19221011 , there was absolutely no effect. Likewise, studies like http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2923074 and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20303371 did not show a change in blood sugar and/or other insulin or other hormones in response the aspartame and/or other sweeteners. What does this mean? In my opinion, it means that we in the the low carb community are just as susceptible to bias as the low fat research/medical community. Humans have an unwavering ability to validate information that supports their position and ignore information that is contrary to their position. The best way to know how artificial sweeteners affect an individual is to do an n=1 experiment. It is difficult for most people to measure insulin, but we can measure blood glucose and ketone levels. If consumption of a reasonable amount of an artificial sweetener does not have any affect on either blood glucose or ketones for an individual, then it might be fair to conclude that it is not affecting insulin. This is assuming the individual is not diabetic or significantly insulin resistant. Otherwise, we would expect a spike in insulin to cause at least a small temporary reduction in blood glucose, right? Likewise, a large spike in insulin should result in a significant change to blood glucose and a possibly a shift in ketones due to glucose being pushed into the cells. I would really like to see a larger study with more individuals, with varying degrees of insulin resistance, and more artificial sweeteners at various dosages given, to look for changes to blood glucose, insulin, growth hormone, blood ketone, cortisol, and other hormones.

I believe the premise of these studies is that your first phase release of insulin is the result of the stimulation of receptors on the tongue that "think" you are consuming sugar. This is your body's way of priming itself for the sugar onslaught it believes is coming. This may be a Pavlovian Dog-like response (remember Pavlov's dog would salivate when it heard a bell because he would ring the bell before feeding it). If this is the assumption of these studies, then let's explore that assumption a little further. The human body is amazingly adaptable. If it responds to an artificial sweetener because it believes it is sugar, and it releases insulin in response to taste bud stimulus, then what will happen over time when the insulin spikes but no sugar is actually ingested? I would hypothesize that the body would either shut down the first phase insulin response if it is unable to distinguish between sugars and artificial sweeteners or it would learn to distinguish between them, as either way the insulin spike without the presence of sugar is not helpful to the body, and is actually an inefficient use of valuable hormone. So, what might this look like in real life? If there truly is an insulin response to some artificial sweeteners, then I would hypothesize that this response would be greatest in individuals who never consume artificial sweeteners. Likewise, I would hypothesize that the response would be very low or nonexistent in individuals who consume a particular artificial sweetener on a regular basis. So, when I was consuming 4-5 diet cokes a day for over a decade, I would be surprised if my body was increasing insulin release by any measurable amount with each diet coke. Again, just a hypothesis, but I believe the human body is much more adaptable than that. Perhaps an individual's past relationship with artificial sweeteners plays a role in their sensitivity and insulin response to those sweeteners.
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Old 08-07-2016, 06:36 AM   #28
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^^^ EXCELLENT post!^^^

It doesn't seem like a difficult thing to test out and I wonder why it doesn't seem to have been done for each and every of the many a.s. that have passed the measures to be considered safe for human consumption. Mix said a.s. in it's pure form (no bulking agents) with water and administer to fasted individuals in isolation any other influences or confounding factors. Insulin response or not?

I think it is also questionable to conclude that all a.s. types have the very same response when they are all quite different from each other.
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Old 08-07-2016, 08:36 AM   #29
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I thought the AS chapter in The Obesity Code was pretty thin. He was scrupulous about citing studies (and made sure they were human, not rat) in every other chapter, but it that one just kind of said there may be some evidence, so we shouldn't use them.

I watched the Aetiology of Obesity video on his site where he was talking about the flaws in the calorie model not long ago. He talked about a study on people NOT losing weight when switching from regular to diet soda, even though their calories had decreased. He said the diet soda had no effect on blood sugar or insulin. It was kind of off-the-cuff, but he said it.

I don't think they are good for me, but goodness, I'd like to keep one vice.
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Old 09-03-2016, 01:03 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clackley View Post
^^^ EXCELLENT post!^^^

It doesn't seem like a difficult thing to test out and I wonder why it doesn't seem to have been done for each and every of the many a.s. that have passed the measures to be considered safe for human consumption. Mix said a.s. in it's pure form (no bulking agents) with water and administer to fasted individuals in isolation any other influences or confounding factors. Insulin response or not?

I think it is also questionable to conclude that all a.s. types have the very same response when they are all quite different from each other.
Just in case you haven't seen this:

http://www.gilabs.com/main/enewslett...013-poster.pdf

A small human study comparing effects of glucose, Splenda and Erythritol on both BS and insulin levels.
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