New Study Warns of Increased Risk of Heart Attacks and Strokes Linked to Sugar Substitutes

A recent study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic has raised concerns about the potential link between certain sugar substitutes and an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. The study, published in the European Heart Journal, focused on a sugar substitute called xylitol or E967.

Xylitol is a natural plant-based sweetener derived from birch bark, known for its low-calorie content. However, the study revealed that xylitol may contribute to the formation of blood clots in platelets, which could lead to blockages in the heart or brain. Participants in the study who consumed a beverage containing xylitol experienced a significant increase in their blood glucose levels.

Dr. Hazen, the director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Microbiome and Human Health, highlighted the concerning findings of the study, emphasizing that the impact of xylitol on blood glucose levels is unprecedented. He warned that the widespread consumption of processed foods containing artificial sweeteners has led to elevated levels of xylitol in the diet.

This is not the first time that the Cleveland Clinic has raised alarm bells about the potential health risks associated with sugar substitutes. A previous study conducted in 2023 identified similar concerns related to another sugar substitute called erythritol.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has also expressed concerns about the long-term health implications of artificial sweeteners, cautioning against their widespread use as a sugar substitute. The WHO has warned that these products may not aid in weight loss and could pose risks to overall health, including an increased risk of developing diabetes.

The findings of this study underscore the importance of further research into the potential health impacts of sugar substitutes and the need for consumers to be aware of the risks associated with these products. As more studies are conducted, it is crucial for individuals to make informed choices about their dietary habits to safeguard their long-term health.