A Preliminary Study of the Frequent and Long-Term Non-Nutritive Sweetener Consumption and its Cardiometabolic Effects in Rats

Janice Yuexia Lee, Purdue University


Non-nutritive sweetener consumption and its presence in food products have been on the rise. Initially perceived to be mostly inert compounds, recent epidemiological studies now show their frequent long-term use has correlations to detrimental cardiometabolic health. Understanding their cardiometabolic effects is important to determine if this relationship is causative. This preliminary experiment examines the effects of long-term and frequent Acesulfame Potassium (Ace-K) consumption on blood pressure, C-reactive protein, body fat percentage, body weight gain, glucose regulation, and left ventricle and arterial morphology and function in an animal model. The results suggest that 1) Ace-K together with a high-fat diet worsened glucose tolerance, increased final body fat percentage and body fat percentage change independent of caloric intake, 2) the high-fat diet increased body weight, increased body fat percentage, worsened glucose tolerance, and increased blood pressure, 3) the sugar sweetened beverage together with high-fat diet increased aortic arch vessel stiffness, LV anterior wall thickness, and LV mass, and 4) the low-fat diet increased LV mass, LV posterior wall thickness, and serum C-reactive protein levels. These results illustrate the effects of NNS on body composition and ability of other components of the experimental diets to modulate cardiovascular risk. Future work should include understanding of mechanisms pertaining to NNS’s effects on glucose tolerance, body composition, and careful selection of control and experimental diets used in the study of cardiometabolic effects.




Swithers, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Behavioral psychology

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