Common Sweetener Linked to Increased Clotting and Cardiovascular Risk

Artificial Sweetener Hear Attack Stroke | How Africa News


According to a study published in Nature Medicine, high erythritol levels in the blood are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke.

Erythritol is a sugar alcohol, which is a type of artificial sweetener. These sweeteners are less sweet than sugar but lower in calories, making them an appealing option for people attempting to lose weight, control diabetes, or avoid tooth damage. Xylitol (a common ingredient in chewing gum) and sorbitol are two further examples.

Erythritol is a popular sugar substitute because it has a similar flavor profile, “mouthfeel,” and texture to table sugar. However, because humans lack the enzymes required to break down such sugar alcohols, it can pass through the body without being digested.

Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic explored the link between greater circulating levels of erythritol and major adverse cardiac events (MACE), such as stroke, non-fatal heart attack, or death, in the current study.

Because of its lower sweetness, erythritol is one of the sugar alcohols of interest since manufacturers choose to utilize more of it in foods. It is also used to “bulk up” other sweeteners since it increases weight and volume in the same way that sugar does. People who consume erythritol-containing products to control illnesses such as obesity or diabetes are already at a higher risk of unfavorable cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke.

The researchers, led by Dr. Stanley Hazen, MD, studied the effects of adding erythritol to either whole blood or isolated platelets after confirming a relationship between blood erythritol levels and incidence MACE risks using over 4,000 individuals in both the US and Europe. Cell fragments clump together to stop bleeding and contribute to blood clots that cause stroke and heart attack.

The study discovered that erythritol made platelets more easily activated and formed a clot. “Our findings show that erythritol is related with incident MACE risk as well as promoting increased thrombosis,” the scientists write. The creation of a blood clot, often known as a “thrombus,” is referred to as thrombosis.

“Our studies show that when healthy volunteers consumed an artificially sweetened beverage with an amount of erythritol observed in many processed foods, markedly elevated levels in the blood are observed for days – levels well above those observed to enhance clotting risks,“ Hazen said “The question is whether it’s safe for some of us to be consuming this much erythritol – and for an extended period of time.”

The research supports launching further investigation to determine the long-term effects of sugar alcohols. “Sweeteners like erythritol, because they appear naturally, had minimal requirements to pass through the regulatory process, but there needs to be more in-depth research into long-term effects,” said Hazen,

“Cardiovascular disease builds over time, and heart disease is the leading cause of death globally. We need to make sure the foods we eat aren’t hidden contributors.”

Written by How Africa News

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