Carbonated drinks change brain's perception of sweetness

Sipping on soda is already a no-no for diabetics, but a new study suggests that an unlikely suspect in many sweetened beverages can actually change how your brain perceives sweetness: carbonation.

"Fizzy" drinks like soda or carbonated juices inhibit your ability to tell the difference between sugar and artificial sweeteners, a new article in Gastroenterology reports.

"This study proves that the right combination of carbonation and artificial sweeteners can leave the sweet taste of diet drinks indistinguishable from normal drinks," study author Rosario Cuomo said in a statement.

Pros v. Cons

The positive outcome of this finding, Cuomo stated, is that tricking the brain about how it tastes sweet could help with weight loss. Low-calories drinks can taste just as good as sugary ones, he explained, which is something food marketing executives have known for a long time.

The downside, however, is that the combination of carbonation and artificial sweeteners could also stimulate increased consumption of sugar and food, since the brain perceives less sugar intake and the body is receiving fewer caloric nutrients than it would from regular sugar.

For diabetics, artificial sweeteners can still increase blood insulin and the glucose response, and emerging research suggests these types of products may not be a safer alternative than regular sugar.

For more information about sugar substitutes and artificial sweeteners, consult this guide.

Source: Science Daily

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