Low calorie sweeteners (LCS) have been used to moderate sugar and energy consumption for over 130 years. Their safety and efficacy for weight management have been challenged over much of this time. Present concerns stem from advances in science that reveal LCS may be metabolically active in the gastrointestinal tract, their use may alter responses in brain reward centers and they may influence the gut microbiota. Some argue that through these mechanisms they pose a health threat and may not only be ineffective, but actually counter-productive for weight management. However, a critical review of the evidence supports their safety and efficacy when used in moderation as a substitute for energy-yielding sweeteners.
Richard D. Mattes, MPH, PhD, RD, Distinguished Professor of Nutrition Science at Purdue University, Affiliated Scientist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center speaking on “Reality of Low Calorie Sweeteners” at the 2016 Sweetener Systems Conference.