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Self Test-Does Diet Soda Spike Insulin? Help Needed.

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created September 24, 2011 at 12:41 AM

I have read conflicting information and studies that say some artificial sweeteners do cause insulin production and others don't. This is something I have been really curious about and figured the best way to find out would be to get a blood glucose meter and test it out. But before I do, has anyone happened to have done this already? Also, what am I looking for? Based on an increase in glucose, what does that mean is going on inside my body with regards to insulin? As much as I try to understand the cycle, it always confuses me. Since the sweetener shouldn't have anything in it to be broken down into glucose, does that mean I won't see any change? Furthermore, if there is no change in blood glucose levels, does that necessarily mean that insulin is not being produced? I know it's sort of a silly thing to want to know but I really appreciate any guidance you could spare.

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on July 28, 2012
at 07:28 AM

The question, hereitcomesagain, is whether Jack Kruse has any proof of that, or if it is an untested speculation.

Medium avatar

(8239)

on November 16, 2011
at 05:45 PM

Good point, T. The anticipation factor. So, expectation of sugar causes insulin to kick in? If this is the case, more evidence for why we need to take very seriously the mental side of body-mind health, including the much marginalized placebo effect.

3c6f4e7b56361080955ab6cfce6a2772

on September 25, 2011
at 07:18 AM

I would look at what Jack Kruse, the Quilt doctor, says about artificial sweeteners. He recommends abstinence from them because they harm leptin receptors in the brain. His take is that diet soda consumption is positively associated with obesity not because they stimulate insulin release, but because they impair leptin sensitivity. The thing that makes sodas hard to resist, aside from sweetness, IMHO, is the citric acid they all have. Try a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar in cool water if water alone isn't palatable to you. Squeeze of lemon or lime is worth trying, too.

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on September 24, 2011
at 07:47 AM

The problem I feel with this question is that a glucometer cannot measure insulin, only glucose.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on September 24, 2011
at 06:46 AM

Insulin is highly relevant for lipolysis.

286a4ff7c362241c5c4b020df4972212

(1288)

on September 24, 2011
at 05:18 AM

Unless you are insulin resistant. It would also depend on what you had with the DC BSL is not a great test for insulin levels

40449b985898b088a64660b40f329f0f

(951)

on September 24, 2011
at 03:40 AM

So you are saying that the glucose would go down over time because nothing being ingested would create glucose, and meanwhile the body would be using what was already there?

40449b985898b088a64660b40f329f0f

(951)

on September 24, 2011
at 02:38 AM

I agree with you too. The question came more out of curiosity than anything. Even if it was a small increase, it would be important for someone that guzzled diet coke all day thinking that they weren't contributing to weight gain.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 24, 2011
at 02:05 AM

Agreed. Acute versus chronic is the big issue. Acute rises after eating, etc is fine. That's what insulin is supposed to do.

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8 Answers

best answer

2
B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

on September 24, 2011
at 03:29 AM

You'd be looking for a decrease in blood glucose, not a rise. It causes your insulin to spike in anticipation of sugar that never arrives. That's where the problem lies. Insulin is released that is not needed.

286a4ff7c362241c5c4b020df4972212

(1288)

on September 24, 2011
at 05:18 AM

Unless you are insulin resistant. It would also depend on what you had with the DC BSL is not a great test for insulin levels

3c6f4e7b56361080955ab6cfce6a2772

on September 25, 2011
at 07:18 AM

I would look at what Jack Kruse, the Quilt doctor, says about artificial sweeteners. He recommends abstinence from them because they harm leptin receptors in the brain. His take is that diet soda consumption is positively associated with obesity not because they stimulate insulin release, but because they impair leptin sensitivity. The thing that makes sodas hard to resist, aside from sweetness, IMHO, is the citric acid they all have. Try a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar in cool water if water alone isn't palatable to you. Squeeze of lemon or lime is worth trying, too.

40449b985898b088a64660b40f329f0f

(951)

on September 24, 2011
at 03:40 AM

So you are saying that the glucose would go down over time because nothing being ingested would create glucose, and meanwhile the body would be using what was already there?

Medium avatar

(8239)

on November 16, 2011
at 05:45 PM

Good point, T. The anticipation factor. So, expectation of sugar causes insulin to kick in? If this is the case, more evidence for why we need to take very seriously the mental side of body-mind health, including the much marginalized placebo effect.

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on July 28, 2012
at 07:28 AM

The question, hereitcomesagain, is whether Jack Kruse has any proof of that, or if it is an untested speculation.

2
D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on September 24, 2011
at 01:51 AM

Just because you're glucose (blood sugar) is low does not always mean your insulin is low.

2
7d64d3988de1b0e493aacf37843c5596

(2861)

on September 24, 2011
at 01:50 AM

I think the low-carb faction has gotten overly concerned about the whole ???insulin spike??? thing. There might be various health concerns with artificial sweeteners, but the talk of ???insulin spikes??? is just a byproduct of an insulin centered viewpoint. Meat ???spikes??? insulin too. Unless something is really blowing up your blood glucose or keeping it up for extended periods of time, I am not sure I would worry about the insulin/glucose angle so much.

40449b985898b088a64660b40f329f0f

(951)

on September 24, 2011
at 02:38 AM

I agree with you too. The question came more out of curiosity than anything. Even if it was a small increase, it would be important for someone that guzzled diet coke all day thinking that they weren't contributing to weight gain.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 24, 2011
at 02:05 AM

Agreed. Acute versus chronic is the big issue. Acute rises after eating, etc is fine. That's what insulin is supposed to do.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on September 24, 2011
at 06:46 AM

Insulin is highly relevant for lipolysis.

2
64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on September 24, 2011
at 12:53 AM

I've done the same test and saw no rise or fall in blood glucose after drinking artificial sweetener. Doing the same test with sugar water did increase blood sugar.

1
Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on April 02, 2013
at 02:22 AM

the fact that ppl keep asking if artificial sweeteners are okay despite all the cons presented just means you all have a sugar/sweet taste addiction. you're just trying to justify/rationalize that it's okay to ahve them when there is ABSOLUTELY NO DOWNSIDE to giving up artificial sweeteners!!

1
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 16, 2011
at 04:34 PM

No one mentioned this, so I will.

We are bombarded with chemicals and pollutants in the environment, with trace amounts in all whole foods that we cannot avoid, so the last thing my brain and body needs is more chemicals. Artificial sweeteners plus preservatives in diet soda equal chemicals to me.

My alternative is a Soda Stream, in which I use water I know is good to make carbonated water with no added ingredients except a wedge or lime or lemon.

1
F7a325314315064ad2dc070ce9233688

on November 16, 2011
at 03:18 PM

The "hedonistic" or "cephalad phase" of insulin release was discovered in the 1960's and is quite real. When the brain detects a sweet taste in the mouth, (1/5th of your taste buds are "sweet" detectors) there is a neurally-triggered secretion of insulin. This has been confirmed in rats and in man, repeatedly through the decades. Just which sweet-tasting stimuli produce how large an insulin release in man is still under investigation, however. (By the way, blood glucose is not a very reliable way to estimate blood insulin, for a number of reasons.) Bottom line: if you fill your mouth with sweet taste while you have lots of nutrients in your blood, you will increase uptake and lipogenesis (fat deposition). Just say "no."

0
F1b82cc7e6d90384ad30007dd6c1b9e3

(1187)

on September 24, 2011
at 02:14 AM

the brain doesn't care, it thinks it is all sugar

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