Health experts have said that pregnant women who consume artificial sweeteners expose their babies to obesity.
This was discovered in a new study by Canadian researchers.
The study was conducted with pregnant rats who ate lots of artificial sweeteners.
Researchers found that rats fed stevia or aspartame artificial sweeteners had pups that were fatter.
They said that this new study can be used to warn pregnant women against eating artificial sweeteners.
It was stated that a similar study has been found among humans who take carbonated drinks.
How the study was performed
Experts said that the research rat was split into three parts.
- The first group were given aspartame used in Diet Coke.
- The second group were given stevia used in 7UP Free.
- The third group were given water.
Grouping of the rats enabled the researchers to detect the differences in their pups after birth.
The researchers explained further that the pups were weighed as soon as their births. Tests were also carried out to know how their mother’s diet affected their bacteria guts.
According to an article in the health journal Frontiers in Nutrition, researchers said there were barely any visible effects of the sweeteners on their mothers.
However, the pups born to mothers fed with sweeteners were heavier and had a larger percentage of body fat.
The researchers noted that they had high levels of some microbes and fewer of others.
Professor Raylene Reimer, one of the researchers said a mother’s diet during pregnancy is crucial.
This is because it has a short and long-term impact on the health of the infants.
They advised that expecting mothers should adhere strictly to dietary guidelines. Also, they should maintain the recommended weight gain guidelines for pregnancy.
“Even though the offspring never consumed the low-calorie sweeteners themselves, their gut bacteria and obesity risk were influenced by the sweeteners that their mothers consumed during pregnancy.
“We found that specific bacteria and their enzymes were linked to how much weight the offspring gained and how much body fat they accumulated.”
Reimer from the University of Calgary gave this report in a health journal.
Source: PUNCH HealthWise