3rd March, 2023 Health
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- A new research by Cleveland Clinic, published in Nature Medicine, has shown that Erythritol, a popular artificial sweetener, is associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Erythritol is a type of sugar alcohol that is commonly used as a sugar substitute in foods and beverages.
- Unlike traditional sugars, it has no calories and does not raise blood sugar levels.
- It is also believed to have a lower glycemic index than other sweeteners, meaning it may not have as strong an impact on insulin levels.
- Erythritol is 60–70% as sweet as sucrose (table sugar).
- Japanese companies pioneered the commercial development of erythritol as a sweetener in the 1990s.
Natural Occurrence and Production
- Erythritol occurs naturally in some fruit and fermented foods.
- It also occurs in human body fluids such as eye lens tissue, serum, plasma, fetal fluid, and urine.
- At the industrial level, it is produced from glucose by fermentation with a yeast, Moniliella pollinis.
- Beverage categories for its use are coffee and tea, liquid dietary supplements, juice blends, soft drinks, and flavored water product variations, with foods including confections, biscuits and cookies, tabletop sweeteners, and sugar-free chewing gum.
- Researchers studied over 4,000 people in the US and Europe and found that those with higher blood Erythritol levels were at elevated risk of experiencing a major adverse cardiac event such as heart attack, stroke or death.
- They also examined the effects of adding Erythritol to either whole blood or isolated platelets, which are cell fragments that clump together to stop bleeding and contribute to blood clots. Results revealed that erythritol made platelets easier to get activated and form a clot. Pre-clinical studies confirmed ingestion of erythritol heightened clot formation.
- Cardiovascular disease builds over time, and heart disease is the leading cause of death globally. The study above highlights the dangers of artificial sweeteners in increasing the risk of cardiovascular events by correlating them with metabolic studies of such chemicals in circulating blood.
- Sweeteners like erythritol have rapidly increased in popularity in recent years but there needs to be more in-depth research into their long-term effects.
Q) What is Erythritol?
b. Artificial Sweetener.
c. Drug to treat HIV.
d. Chemical to break down the oil into smaller droplets.
Answer: Option II