Study links artificial sweetener erythritol to heart attacks and strokes

(WXYZ) – In today’s health alert, a new study suggests that the artificial sweetener erythritol may increase the risk of blood clots, strokes and heart attacks.

Many people think artificial sweeteners are better than sugar, but this study linked erythritol to some serious health risks.

When people see the words “sugar free” or “less sugar” on food packaging, many automatically think it’s a better choice. Even the Cleveland Clinic researchers who conducted this study were surprised by their findings. They were looking for compounds in the blood that could help predict the risk of an adverse cardiovascular event. It was then that erythritol was discovered as the best candidate.

The researchers studied more than 4,000 people in the United States and Europe for three years. And found that those with higher blood levels of erythritol were at high risk for stroke, heart attack, blood clots and even cardiovascular death. The study observed elevated levels of erythritol in participants’ blood that lasted for several days after consuming a drink with this artificial sweetener. And these levels increased the chances of clotting.

In my opinion, this is concerning. Erythritol is found in a ton of reduced-sugar products, especially keto-friendly food products. It has certainly become more popular. It is also marketed for weight loss as it contains zero calories. And it can be recommended for people who are obese, diabetic or have metabolic syndrome. And unfortunately, these people are already at a much higher risk of heart attacks and strokes.

First, let me say that this study does not prove that erythritol causes heart attacks and strokes. More research is definitely needed. Currently, the FDA has labeled erythritol as “generally recognized as safe.” That said, I would err on the side of caution. Because after eating or drinking products containing erythritol, it enters the bloodstream and leaves the body mainly through urine. However, additional consumption may accumulate.

Now, how can you avoid or reduce artificial sweeteners? Well, start with processed foods. This is where you will find artificial sweeteners, especially erythritol. Also, cut down on sugary drinks like soda, fruit drinks, and sweetened tea. You can sweeten your foods and drinks with natural sugars like raw honey, agave nectar, and maple syrup. But don’t forget that they may contain high fructose corn syrup, which has been linked to serious health problems, including diabetes and heart disease. Personally, I recommend eating healthy, nutrient-dense foods and drinking water with fresh or frozen fruit, as it will naturally sweeten the drink. You can also talk to your family doctor or dietitian to learn more about healthier options.

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