Effects of Moderate Consumption of Non-nutritive Sweeteners on Glucose Tolerance and Body Composition in Rats: 3438 Board# 343 June 2 3

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Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise





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INTRODUCTION: To combat the effects of excess energy intake on obesity and glucose intolerance, non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) have been used as a replacement for more energy dense traditional sweeteners. However, limited research has been completed regarding the metabolic effects of moderate consumption of non-nutritive sweeteners. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of moderate consumption of NNS (aspartame and sucrose) on glucose tolerance and the insulin response to an oral glucose load, and on body composition in an animal model. METHODS: Male Sprague-Dawley rats (N=30) were given aspartame (ASP, n=10, 8.5 mg/kg/day) or sucralose (SUC, n=10, 2.6 mg/kg/day) in drinking water, or untreated water as a control (n=10) for 6 weeks. In the morning, after overnight fasting, rats underwent an oral glucose tolerance test (2g/kg 50% dextrose w/v by gavage). Blood was obtained by tail clip; glucose was measured by glucose meter and insulin was measured by radioimmunoassay. Following euthanasia, lean mass and fat mass were determined by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry; epididymal fat pads were removed and weighed. RESULTS: No significant differences were found between groups in area under the curve for glucose or insulin response to an oral glucose load. Significant differences in serum insulin were seen 15 minutes after the glucose load between both the ASP (0.72 ± 0.06 ng/mL vs 0.94 ± 0.08 ng/mL, p=0.035) and SUC group (0.72 ± 0.07 ng/mL vs 0.94 ± 0.08 ng/mL, p=0.048) compared with the control. While percent body fat was not different between groups, epididymal fat pad mass was significantly higher in the ASP group compared with the control group (5.50 ± 0.34 g vs 4.55 ± 0.19 g, p=0.042), while the ratio of trunk fat to total fat was significantly lower in the SUC group compared with controls (0.49 ± .02 vs 0.60 ± .14, p< 0.01) . CONCLUSION: Moderate consumption of aspartame or sucralose had no effect on percent body fat. Fifteen minutes following a glucose load, serum insulin was significantly lower in both NNS groups compared with the control, suggesting a potential suppression in insulin response. Both aspartame and sucralose altered body fat distribution. These results may have implications for addressing abdominal obesity.



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