Findings presented in a review study titled “A systematic review on the effect of sweeteners on glycemic response and clinically relevant outcomes” examining the efficacy of sweeteners in relation to clinical outcomes is restrained with regards to positive findings and full of speculation, not supported by scientific evidence.
The Calorie Control Council* cites the following as serious limitations of the study:
- The design of the review excluded some favorable studies that have been conducted, leading to a potentially biased analysis. Additionally, the review was based on small, mostly short-term studies.
- The authors restrained their discussion of favorable findings related to fructose. They stated that “despite popular belief, no high-quality RCT [randomized controlled trial] evidence indicating that fructose causes or exacerbates hypertriglyceridemia,” but failed to elaborate. Likewise, the authors reported that fructose reduced 2-hour blood glucose concentrations in diabetic patients when compared to glucose, but did not discuss the potentially positive real world implications of this finding.
- The authors speculated with regards to low calorie sweeteners beyond the scope of their data. They reported that the data showed that low calorie sweeteners decreased energy intake and BMI, but later theorized why low calorie sweeteners may not be effective for weight loss. Such discussion runs counter to the evidence presented.
The use of lower calorie foods sweetened with fructose in place of sugar can result in products significantly reduced in calories when compared with their traditional counterparts. In light of the current obesity epidemic, it is important that consumers have available a wide variety of good tasting, reduced-calorie products as tools to assist them in addressing their calorie goals.