Research Banner


Research Updates | Cardiovascular disease

Nonnutritive sweeteners and cardiometabolic health

12 / 09 / 17

This analysis reviewed 7 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and 30 cohort studies examining routine consumption of non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) on weight, obesity and cardiometabolic end points. In the RCTs, NNSs had no effect on BMI, body composition or secondary outcomes. In the cohort studies, consumption of NNS was associated with a small but significant increase in BMI, waist circumference, and higher incidence of obesity, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular events. Publication bias was indicated for studies with diabetes as an outcome (a bias toward publication of studies with significant findings). A comment published about this article suggested the cohort studies have important limitations, including high risk of reverse causality (subjects already having chronic health conditions choose to consume NNSs).

Azad MB, Abou-Setta AM, Chauhan BF, Rabbani R et al. Nonnutritive sweeteners and cardiometabolic health: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials and prospective cohort studies. CMAJ 2017;189 (28): E929-E939