Horrifying – New Study Indicates That Popular Sugar Substitutes Worsen Your Memory

Neuron Brain Neuroscience Concept

Consuming low-calorie sweeteners also had an impact on the body’s metabolic signaling, which may result in diabetes and other metabolism-related diseases.

Using laboratory models, scientists discovered that ingesting FDA-approved levels of saccharin, ACE-K, and stevia early in life may result in many changes to the body, including brain areas linked to memory and reward-motivated behavior.

Early-life high-sugar diets have been linked to impaired brain function, but what about low-calorie sugar substitutes? According to recent research, they could have a negative impact on the developing gut and brain.

The News

Researchers from the University of Southern California Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences report that adolescents who consumed the low-calorie sweeteners saccharin, ACE-K, and stevia showed long-term memory impairments in a study that was recently published in the journal JCI Insight.

  • The results are consistent with other studies that demonstrated sustained memory impairment in adolescent rats who consume sugar.
  • Consuming low-calorie sweeteners also affected metabolic signaling in the body, which can lead to diabetes and other metabolism-related diseases.
  • Rats that ate low-calorie sweeteners as adolescents were less inclined to work for sugar as adults, but they ate more sugar if it was readily accessible, which is another factor that may influence the chance of developing metabolic disease.

    Diet Cola Soda Drink

    Diet soft drinks often use low-calorie sugar substitutes such as stevia and acesulfame potassium, or Ace-K, which might have long-term effects on memory, behavior and metabolic functions.

Why It Matters

There is a broad range of advice on what to eat and when to consume it. According to the researchers, information from studies like these may aid consumers and medical professionals in making better decisions at all stages of life.

“While our findings do not necessarily indicate that someone should not consume low-calorie sweeteners in general, they do highlight that habitual low-calorie sweetener consumption during early life may have unintended, long-lasting impacts,” said Scott Kanoski, associate professor of biological sciences at USC Dornsife.

What It Means for Humans

While most studies of low-calorie sweeteners focus on one substance and use amounts far exceeding the norm, the researchers made sure the study was in line with real-life conditions for people.

  • Sweeteners tested include saccharin, acesulfame potassium (ACE-K) and stevia — which are commonly used in sweetened foods.
  • The amount of sweetener consumed fell within FDA-approved guidelines for humans.

In Their Words

“Research using rodent models and low-calorie sweeteners has typically involved consumption levels that far exceed the FDA ‘acceptable daily intake’ (ADI) levels and used only a single sweetener. To design our research to be more applicable to humans, we kept consumption levels within the ADI and used multiple low-calorie sweeteners to determine if effects were specific to a given sweetener or general across sweeteners.” — Lindsey Schier, Gabilan Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at USC Dornsife

The Experiment

To determine the effect of low-calorie sweetener consumption on memory, the researchers used methods that test object recognition and spatial recognition.

Rats were provided water sweetened with either stevia, ACE-K or saccharin or plain water, along with their normal food.
After a month, the rats’ memory was tested using two different methods — one tests if they remember an object they’ve seen before and the other is a maze.
In the end, rats consuming sweetener were less likely to remember an object or the path through the maze than those that drank only plain water.

What Else?

The scientists also found other effects among the rats after they consumed sweeteners.

  • They had fewer receptors on their tongues that detect sweet taste.
  • The biological mechanism in their intestines that transports glucose into the blood was altered.
  • Their brains had changed, specifically in regions associated with memory control and reward-motivated behavior.

What’s Next?

Kanoski and Schier say the findings reveal more questions worth exploring, including:

  • How do sweetener substitutes cause a reduction in sweet taste receptors and how does that affect later dietary behavior?
  • What does the change in the nutrient transport in the gut mean for health?
  • What biological mechanisms link sweetener consumption with the changes to the brain?

The researchers say they intend to explore ways to reverse the long-lasting effects of adolescent low-calorie sweetener consumption and to study how it influences food choices and preferences later in life.

Reference: “Early-life low-calorie sweetener consumption disrupts glucose regulation, sugar-motivated behavior, and memory function in rats” by Linda Tsan, Sandrine Chometton, Anna M.R. Hayes, Molly E. Klug, Yanning Zuo, Shan Sun, Lana Bridi, Rae Lan, Anthony A. Fodor, Emily E. Noble, Xia Yang, Scott E. Kanoski and Lindsey A. Schier, 13 September 2022, JCI Insight.
DOI: 10.1172/jci.insight.157714

The study was funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the National Insitute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, and the National Science Foundation. 

155 Comments on "Horrifying – New Study Indicates That Popular Sugar Substitutes Worsen Your Memory"

  1. Stevia is not artificial. It comes from the stevia plant.

    • Processing stevia may lead to a partly artificial product. And just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

    • The article doesn’t say “artificial”. It repeatedly used the words “low-calorie sweeteners saccharin, ACE-K, and stevia.”

  2. I'm inventzilla | October 25, 2022 at 4:05 pm | Reply

    Show it in a hundred studies and I’ll believe it. One bogus study doesn’t mean much. A million studies say saccharine reduces diabetes

    • Exactly. No single study can be held true these days, and it’s best waiting for a metastudy analysis. Although.. there have been articles recently linking most artificial sweeteners to diseases other than just altering gut bacteria

      • I doubt it’s the saccharin that prevents diabetes. Probably more like the reduction in calories and effect of not eating as much sugar.

        • I doubt it’s the saccharin that prevents diabetes. Probably more like the reduction in calories and effect of not eating as much sugar.

  3. Honestly if it’s anything like that one taken from literal coal dust it’s no surprise it’s unhealthy….

  4. These were rats. Not humans. Enough with these animal studies.

  5. that’s a crock. I’m 80yo and have been using them since the day they were invented. My memory is as good now as when I was 15yo (if not better).

    • That’s your experience and it’s one example. Maybe you are genetically resistant to the stuff or just lucky.
      For example, look at Keith Richard. Most people would not have survived the abuse he did to his body.

  6. I am inclined to believe the study as I have consumed stevia for 17 years now because of leaky gut, and am struggling with my short term memory.

  7. I had to disagree with the fact that Stevia is an all natural sweetener, and not artificial as the previous poster mentioned. I use Stevia, erythitol, monkfruit and allulose in virtually everything I cook and drink. There’s no proof that Stevia is linked to problems in the brain. I guess the study needs to be reevaluated in my opinion.

    • The article doesn’t say “artificial”. It repeatedly used the words “low-calorie sweeteners saccharin, ACE-K, and stevia.”

  8. Believe nothing that you hear and half what you see !!!!! Everything in moderation.

  9. Stevia is a natural plant.

  10. Carlito S. Cayanan | October 26, 2022 at 7:20 am | Reply

    Stevia is a natural sweetener not artificial.

  11. Go back and study stevia y’all are dumbass y’all don’t know anything

  12. Doubt it.

  13. What the comments are telling me is: it will be a cold day in hell before you take Diet Coke out of my hand. 🙂

  14. It isn’t the Stevie plant itself that is the problem. It’s the chemicals used to extract from the leaves and process to make it a powder. The only forms of sugar that are truly healthy are monk fruit that does not have added ingredients, maple syrup and raw honey. I am diabetic so I stick to monk fruit. I have noticed monk fruit in some drinks. You just have to read labels to make sure other forms of sugar aren’t added.

    • Benjamin David Steele | December 15, 2023 at 6:41 am | Reply

      If it isn’t stevia that is the problem but extractive agents and other additives, the researchers should state that fact.

      There are probably thousands of stevia products on the market. They probably use differing extraction processes. I know they have different additives. So, how are we supposed to even know what this research was studying, if they didn’t control for confounders? We can’t.

      If we could verify that it isn’t the stevia itself that is the problem, then we as customers could avoid the unhealthy extractive chemicals and additives. Otherwise, such research as this is next to worthless, especially considering other studies find stevia has numerous benefits.

  15. Artificial sweeteners are some of the worst things we can consume. Believe it. Even Stevia has side effects. Research it.

  16. I used to be dismissive of scientific reports alleging that certain products are detrimental to your health.
    The main reason for my reticence was the conflicting outcomes and contradictory end results of the studies. It was hard to believe the validity of the data.

    However,my thoughts have changed. I started conducting my own research on how products affect my health. I find that my symptoms are often directly in line with the study results. Effects of MSG, sweeteners, emulsifiers, thickeners, and additives don’t work synergistically with the human body. Even more disturbing are the poor safety profile for many FDA approved drugs Many of these medications have been linked to chronic and dangerous medical conditions.

    To that end, I have decided to test products myself and keep a journal as to how they affect me. So far I have determined that MSG causes me debilitating headaches, sugar substitutes contribute significantly to brain fog, and overly processed food make me generally ill for days.

    Be your own custodian of your health. Do your due diligence and protect you and your family.

    • The article doesn’t say “artificial”. It repeatedly used the words “low-calorie sweeteners saccharin, ACE-K, and stevia.” It also says “Early-life high-sugar diets have been linked to impaired brain function.”

  17. I have severe memory loss when I ingest aspartame. I am unable to even count to 10 when I ingest it. It also triggers my migraines. Once off aspartame my memory and my ability to process information returns.

  18. This is a rat study. What was the dosing like? Does this mean the same is true for people? Lots of rat studies don’t transfer to people.

    • IN RATS.
      It may affect RATS memory.

    • Benjamin David Steele | December 15, 2023 at 6:47 am | Reply

      The problem is animal studies often use extremely high doses to determine effects. Such large amounts of a substance are never seen in a normal human diet.

      That has come up in the research on carcinogens in cooked meat. The only way a human would get the same level of meat-related carcinogens is if they were eating pounds of completely charred meat. So, all the warnings about grilled meat are bald-faced lies, as there is no evidence that supports that.

      We have to be super cautious about interpreting these animal studies.

  19. People need to do more research on stevia… it may be natural but not every company processes it the same way. It’s not all safe.

    • Benjamin David Steele | December 15, 2023 at 6:49 am | Reply

      Apparently, this research is worthless or at least useless without knowing the processing method and additives of the stevia product used in the experiment.

  20. Where was Nutrisweet? The most common artificial, low calorie sweetener? Stevia is expensive, Acesulfame K is a sweetener booster not used by itself and Saccharine is barely used compared to Nutrasweet. And is the control, some simple sugars used?

    Everything will have side effects if you use enough of it.

    I can’t believe those organizations funded the study with that design.

  21. Why are they conducting studies on two completely different compounds and then grouping them together as common enemies!!!? There’s no solid evidence that Stevia has caused the same issues as cancer causing, organ destroying saccharin!!!! This is a tainted view to lead people’s perception that the two mentioned sweeteners are the same!!!!

    • Benjamin David Steele | December 15, 2023 at 6:51 am | Reply

      I was wondering the exact same thing. I went to the study paper itself. At no point is there any discussion or conclusion about stevia separate from the rest. This study, therefore, can tell us nothing about stevia itself. That kind of intellectual sloppiness and laziness is frustrating.

  22. Stevia is a plant – and natural.
    However – if the studies were done using any of the packets of “stevia products” then they should list those names as they are NOT 100% pure stevia and are highly processed with washing, bleaching and adding for final product!

    • Benjamin David Steele | December 15, 2023 at 6:54 am | Reply

      That is presumably the case. They are unlikely studying the stevia plant itself in pure form. Rather, what was used was most likely a specific product made with a specific extractive process and including specific other ingredients. Even the, the study also didn’t discuss the effects of stevia separately from the other sweeteners. The whole thing is a mess.

  23. First and formost I’m not a rat I’m a human!!! This doesn’t mean anything to my body cuz I’m not a RAT! Second stevia is a plant it’s not a chemical these other things are chemicals!!! Facts vs scientists ur r suppose to be smart what the heck!!!

    Ur just freaking ppl out u need to stop with stuff like this and bring facts with humans after a million humans have been ur test subjects for a year or longer OH MY GEEZ!!!!

    • Steve Nordquist | October 30, 2022 at 11:24 pm | Reply

      It seems you forgot you got your sense of sweet enough generations back that you were a rat. Also that life is made of chemicals (natural and contrived,) and that nobody has time (or reason) to pay you for a year or more to try a single flavor component. Try complaining that humans sidestep the memory loss in OA at trivial daily cost…or maybe use it as a cheap memory eraser to advantage.

  24. I’ve been using stevia for 20 years. I am 67. My memory is no worse than it was back then. If anything, it’s better.
    Stevia is no more artificial than sugar is. Both processed from plants. Many people grow their own stevia in their own home or yard.
    This study sounds rather full of holes.

  25. Ms patricamoore@gmail | October 26, 2022 at 2:20 pm | Reply

    Who is behind this supposed study and where’s the study results in each and every sugar substitute. Is this propaganda to push problems that have been caused by food additives n unhealthy foods. Looks like projection

  26. Shirl A Steward | October 26, 2022 at 3:36 pm | Reply

    Stevia white power is probably bad but the green leaf version is very good for you. I’m amazed that you don’t even mention the worst one of all ASPARTAME! It is pure poison. In fact the least little bit of aspartame accidentally taken gives me severe cramping in my neck, hands, arms,legs and feet. Stop disseminating false information!

    • Start doing research of your own and stay away from the quack hype – in over 4 decades aspartame has never been proven to be bad.

    • Steve Nordquist | October 30, 2022 at 10:58 pm | Reply

      Eliminate and diagnose forward… Aspartame already got studied for the bits of interest in this study, see TFA for references if you like. No idea what you think is false info.

  27. How about we find out who funded this study?

    I would like to know who put up the money. Follow the money, find out who isn’t and who is in this study and we might be on to something.

    • Steve Nordquist | October 30, 2022 at 11:41 pm | Reply

      How about; it’s acknowledged in the free-to-read paper, get bitching to the point if your vindiction found one. Feel free to just rip into everyone who -didn’t- fund it and exalt in your newfound joy of the well spent funding, of course. Send us to Pollyannastan already.

  28. Did theose rats lose any weight ? They forgot to mentionprobably because they are consuming too much stevia.

  29. Did theose rats lose any weight ? They forgot to mention probably because they are consuming too much stevia.

    • Steve Nordquist | October 31, 2022 at 12:02 am | Reply

      I didn’t clock a data supplement to the article that would say, did you? Rats like to climb the cage and hang from the roof grid, and to grab toys and grandstand, but there are like 0 stories in the animal protocol that they should go in together on a milk cow or whizzing cashews for nutrition support, sharing dojo stories and techniques, or sparring with tiny folding chairs. Here the researchers use cell-seq methods and didn’t try making printed drink cans they can slot in their little cars at all.

  30. Yeah nothing wrong with artificial sweeteners we have artificial prescribed medicine from our doc. and consume them some people have lots a day

  31. Stevia is natural and the Japanese have been using it since the 1940s with no observer I’ll effects.

  32. There was also a study done in 2014 that tested memory with rats and sugar. The sugar also negatively alters memory as well. I wonder why they didn’t also have a group that they fed sugar.

  33. For those discussing whether Stevia is all natural or not, the answer is it depends on if you’re buying organic. If you buy the big bag of Stevia that measures cup for cup like sugar you are buying artificial sweetener full of maltodextrin and other chemicals. Buy pure Stevia powder that is organic/halal/vegan and you have a natural sweetener. Same with monk fruits. Erytherol, chemically altered sugar alcohol.

  34. Stevia is a plant but it needs to be highly processed to get it to the priduct we use for sweetening. Therein lies the problem.

  35. Leaky gut is not caused by stevia, but by alcohols of sugar, such as erythritol or xylitol.

  36. The stevia that we buy and use as a sweetener is highly processed so it can be considered a artificial sweetener I suppose.

    It seems obvious though that the rats would eat more sugar when it was available to them because the sweet tasting water they were exposed to before didn’t contain calories. (There has been very similar studies to this done)

    Fortunately humans aren’t rats and have the ability to know the difference between something sweetened with low/no cal sweetener and sugar.

    The memory problems probably come from the sweeteners not providing the nutritional value the brain thought it was getting so it maybe can’t create the same amount of dopamine or something because the calories arent there to keep the chain reaction going. But I’m just guessing on that one from studies I’ve read about how no calories sweeteners impact certain regions of the brain.

  37. Damnedbyrainbows | October 26, 2022 at 10:04 pm | Reply

    Not the actual article, which is cited and available online for free. I’d like to examine their methodology and will. Did they use commercial packets of sweetener? It seems a conceit that people use different sweeteners indiscriminately when most people are brand loyal. If they used walmart stevia it’s half erithratol, which is certainly a gut irritant.

  38. Logic, if it is not naturally occurring like honey, and it has to go through some kind of processing, we humans need to be aware of what is involved during processing. Whatever we ingest gets deposited into our blood stream. The brain is the engine and to keep it working well, we need to be mindful of what we’re ingesting including pollutants from cosmetics, aerosols, environmental fumes, etc. Eating excessive carbohydrates, greasy food, not eating vegetables, not eating fruits, and many other factors increase diabetes, blood pressure, cardiac conditions, etc. So these were rats. Brain tissue fails and dies, human life ceases to exist. People have to be mindful of what they ingest. Wrinkles, hair loss, dry skin, memory issues, sinus congestion, excessive mucus production, etc. These are all symptoms.

    • I am sick of hearing the results of pointless animal studies when most of the information we get is common sense (over consumption of any non natural products. Leave animals alone and stop funding pointless experiments.

    • Benjamin David Steele | December 15, 2023 at 7:09 am | Reply

      The problem is there is little discussion since there is little info. Laws don’t require companies to disclose many of the extractive chemicals and additives in their products.

      And studies like this don’t even bother saying what product they used. The entire results might have nothing to do with the stevia plant itself. Such research is less than worthless because it disinforms us, making us less informed than if we hadn’t read about the study at all.

  39. I am reading people’s comments on STEVIA being “natural” so how can that be bad? Well, we KNOW how BAD sugar(natural) is for you, why would this be any different????

  40. Stevia is natural. What is needed to be studied is the long term effects of drinking sodas etc stored in aluminum cans. The inside bottom and tops of the cans are not coated to protect the consumer. Aluminum can leach into the beverage and cause Alzheimer’s.

  41. I am questioning the comment about Stevia also. I use Truvia all the time and was under the impression Stevia was safe as it is not artificial?

    • There’s controversy over whether stevia is a safe sugar substitute.

      • The fact that they didn’t compare to a test group with over-processed, store bought sugar as well, makes this whole study an absolute joke. Anything the body processes as sugar has negative results on the brain and body with over consumption… and were the rats given extra water for the sweetner they consumed to couteract the fact that they’re ingesting sweetners? That’s also how it works. Same with salt, caffeine etc. How are people and scientists still so dumb these days? And regarding Stevia, processing to a powder form is the problem. Same for sugar. And sugar is pumped into most processed things we eat, not just sweet things. The natural untainted base for sugar and stevia (you know, the plants?) Should be considered as separate groups in these ridiculous studies, but surprise surprise, they never are. Admit the way we mass produce, over process and don’t use moderation is the actual problem already. Everyone is so stupid, it makes me tired of this planet.

  42. Wow I’m even learning so much from the comments.
    Definitely reading some stuff I need to look up.

    First off I do believe there have been several studies done on artificial sweeteners, especially saccharin and aspartame. But did I listen to them? No because I thought sugar was worse. Was I right? Probably not. I probably should have just abstained from sweets and drank water.

    Anyhow to my 2nd point. I’m in my fifties and I’ve been noticing memory problems. Mostly can’t find my words for things and people. This has been bothering me. Meaning I didn’t just come up with this after reading the article. It could be age but I’ve been using saccharine for over 35 years. I drink it in my tea and my coffee. And I’m a big tea drinker. I sometimes use it in my cooking to sweeten sauces. This article made me remember hearing in the past that saccharine was bad for mental health, possibly memory. But I can’t remember what I was told. I remember the conversation with the person who was well studied on this but don’t remember exactly how saccharine was bad. No pun intended.

    So I’m thinking maybe I need to start drinking water, not just for my kidneys but also for my brain.

  43. Is it possible that Splenda was used in the research, not Stevia.
    I use Stevia everyday, so I would appreciate clarification.

  44. Was the Stevia organic? The study doesn’t indicate.

    • Benjamin David Steele | December 15, 2023 at 7:15 am | Reply

      Yep. It might not only be that there likely were additives and extractive chemicals in the stevia product. If the plant wasn’t grown organically, it could have all kinds of pesticides on it. Heck, even if it was organic, a common spray used is copper. Too much copper can be problematic.

      Furthermore, it could matter where it was grown. Some plants uptake and concentrate heavy metals. Even the healthiest plant-based food or ingredient is only healthy if the plant was grown under healthy conditions, processed under healthy conditions, and combined with other healthy ingredients.

      The study authors don’t mention any of that. We need to raise the standards of research. This is simply a badly designed study or else a badly written paper. Why are we ordinary citizens in the comments able to think of these basic issues and yet the researchers act as if they’re clueless? Maybe the problem goes even deeper with poor quality education and training of scientists.

  45. For those going off in these comments that Stevia is not artificial, they’ve missed the point of the article. There’s no mention of the substitutes being articial being correlated to the findings. Only that they were used instead of sugar. There are plenty of natural, edible, well tolerated substances that also have effects that can be characterized as harmful – certain types of mushrooms come to mind as examples. It may be that these substitutes are similar. There should be more study though before we start running for the hills.

  46. A thesis from a college student. Please do at least 100 study or more before posting your findings.

  47. What about Aspertame and Neotame? I’m guessing that the company that makes those products financed this study.

  48. I call BS on Stevia causing this… more like Splenda and Aspertame.

  49. Once processed nothing is natural… Stevia is not used in it’s raw form therefore not a natural sweetener.

  50. This is a bunch of bunk. I drink a lot of water with artificial sweeteners and …


    What was I saying?

    Oh yeah – Trump Stinks because he eats too much garbage.

    Drink water and vote!

  51. Stevia is not widely used in soft drinks. Aspartame is the main culprit. I think they have their sweetners confused. I can’t find a softdrink where I live with stevia in it. None. I drink water with half a lemon and a little stevia every day. Yum. But, I forget why I do it.

  52. When will the sugar industry stop funding these “studies”? No agenda there… LOL

  53. Daniel Gonzalez | October 27, 2022 at 10:31 am | Reply

    Well in my case I have never used these substitute until recently but I have short memory before that so what’s going on then you tell me smarty

  54. These sweeteners are each very different chemicals with totally different interactions. Just about the only thing in common is that they happen to taste sweet. It makes no sense that all three would have the same effects on the brain.

    • Benjamin David Steele | December 15, 2023 at 7:18 am | Reply

      What makes it worse is that the paper makes no distinction between them. They are all combined together in the discussion. It was impossible to see what were the differences between them.

  55. Stevia is natural. So are mercury, lead, cyanide. Doesn’t make them good for you.

    • Life is natural – So is Death….Doesn’t make them good for you. O.K. “Remedy” Live Life based upon Truth, Knowledge, and in the end, Wisdom…

  56. Yet another case of finding a “supposed” beneficial food item is not so beneficial after all. Why can’t food studies find these things out before the food become ubiquitous in our society? And coffee…oh so many studies that says its good, then its bad, then its good…what the heck is going on with dietary research…they can’t come up with a solid research study that stands up.

    • Steve Nordquist | October 30, 2022 at 10:32 pm | Reply

      Coffee good, hexane decaffeination bad…and coffee smells better than it tastes, I think. Of course food science is hard, it goes in neat and comes out at least one place a hazardous soil, and has cross reactions in hundreds of metabolic chains. Tests get cheaper in a continuing economic miracle, yet putting trust in a sweet sense outside oneself continues to draw costs and literal deadlines. Dig into that memory cost for great progress….

  57. No mention of aspartame,which is the one artificial sweetener we should avoid.

  58. Dr.James C. Stevens | October 27, 2022 at 12:23 pm | Reply

    I’m a Ph. D scientist and I read the actual paper cited in this “news report”. The paper is absolute crap and shows nothing of significance, in my expert opinion. It might as well be a paper by a high school science club. The paper is not peer reviewed. The number of mice used in the experimental and control groups is far too small to draw any conclusions. Statistically, there was no meaningful difference between the sugar and the sugar substitute groups.

    • Benjamin David Steele | December 15, 2023 at 7:20 am | Reply

      Thanks for offering your perspective as a scientist. I’m a non-scientist, but the way the paper was written just seemed intellectually lazy. So much was left unclear.

  59. When I started losing wait, I swtched to stevia as the 1:1 substitute for sugar. After about 7 months I had lost a lot of weight, and thought my skirt term memory loss was just a result of lack of concentration. It had gotten to the point that I couldn’t rely on my memory of what I did just hours ago.
    Then a friend told me that she’d heard that stevia can cause memory loss.
    It scared me. And I finally connected to dots.
    Yes. Do believe this.
    Stevia causes short-term memory loss.
    I can’t say much of the artificial sweeteners, since I don’t like their aftertaste, and so I don’t use them

  60. What they fail to describe on this page is whether the researchers even BOTHERED to separate (oh I don’t know) the 2 ARTIFICIAL sweeteners from the Stevia, which is literally just a leaf extraction produced using alcohol. (None of the alcohol remains at the end.)

    • Benjamin David Steele | December 15, 2023 at 7:24 am | Reply

      That would be interesting to know.

      Are all stevia products only using pure alcohol for extraction? In all products, is there no residue of any other chemicals remaining after the extractive process? And besides that, what are the effect of the other additives in most stevia products?

      There are still other questions. What are the kinds of pesticides used in growing stevia? Is organic stevia better? And what about the soil and water used in stevia agriculture? Does stevia uptake and concentrate heavy metals?

  61. Regardless of whether or not this is a good study, I find it fascinating how many people are commenting on what sweeteners are natural vs. artificial when the article doesn’t even differentiate between the two. It only talks about “low calorie sweeteners”.
    Maybe we’re seeing what we expect to see, instead of what’s actually written?

  62. Come on – think!!!
    What is NOT being mentioned here?
    The most common artificial sweetener, Aspartame.
    Follow the money – the study, thus article on Google News…. it is a plant to move customers back to aspartame.
    Or am I missing something?

    • Nope. You’re not. “studies” funded by the sugar cartel. It is soothing to see that they’re people who still can think. Thank you.

  63. You can’t trust the FDA. They do their best to make people sick, so that they drive profits for the pharmaceutical industry. I’d be dead if I trusted them. Luckily, I take supplements and use information that they’re trying to suppress.

  64. No where in the article dose it mention artificial sweeteners. It says low calorie sweeteners, or sugar substitutes.

  65. I love stevia. True, it comes from a plant, but being natural doesn’t make it safe. Plants create complex molecules that have a wide range of effects on the human body so let’s get that clear. Also, the whitish powdered stevia we buy is a concentrated extract of the sweet tasting chemical the plant produces. I’ve tried the powdered leaves and it is very green like powdered sage and it tastes very grassy like wheat grass juice. So, consuming it the way most American consumes do is not natural (as in it is refined) and even if was not refined that doesn’t make it necessarily good for you.
    I’ll probably keep using it, but i don’t doubt the findings of the study.

  66. Why didn’t they compare them to sucrose/high fructose water along with plain water? This only says that any sort of sweetener can have these possible negative effects.

  67. The article says low calorie & sugar substitute NOT artificial. Interesting that so many commenters are jumping on the artificial thought.

    Seems to be related to the trickery of the sweet more than the chemical makeup.

    Though as a fan of monkfruit, I’d like to see it studied a bit more. Vs stevia

    I find some of these non-sugar drinks are way too sugary. The goal shouldn’t be how sweet can we get it. We’re already too addicted because we needed more calories 100+ years ago when we didn’t know where our next meal might or might not come.

  68. All these people commenting that stevia is natural- the article title says “sugar substitutes”, not artificial sweeteners.

  69. How many rats in the study? 2? What percentage showed impairment??? What percentage of decreased performance???? What environmental controls?? What rat age/ size/ health/ sex controls??? Stupid article. Childish crap. Get a life. Sick of junk science. Get out.

  70. It is amazing to me that people are more concerned about whether or not stevia is a plant!! What the article says is that the brain has a problem because it re-trains the brains reward system to believe that sweet stuff will deliver a physical reward to the body. Changing your brain in such a fundamental way can have consequences.

  71. Goodness, what are we supposed to eat then? Ive cut out salt, sugar, carbs, fat…. I’m underweight (95 lbs), high blood pressure, low heart rate, insulin resistant, and only 30. Goodness, I’m hungry all the time!

  72. This experiment was lazy throwing in all the sweetness instead of testing them individually. Now it is making a prognosis on all based on this experiment. I personally use stevia. It is natural . This lazy study getting cheap headlines without the science to back it. Other aspects may have caused memory loss as well.

    • Benjamin David Steele | December 15, 2023 at 7:30 am | Reply

      Mixing diverse sweeteners together in a study is the opposite of helpful. It would be like doing a study that mixed together soybean oil, olive oil, butter, and fish oil. And then blaming them equally for whatever overall results a study showed.

      This is how meat gets scapegoated in studies where there are heavy meat-eaters who include lots of carbs and seed oils in their diet. Was it the hamburger that made them fat and sickly or was it the bun, the French fries, and the soda pop?

  73. I use these sweeteners, and … what were we talking about ?

  74. Lemme guess, the study was paid for by the sugar growers of America?

  75. No numbers, no comparisons, effects equal for each sweetener, no specifics, a whole article with nothing except we conclude these substances are bad for memory. This is what passes for science these days?

  76. My parents encouraged low calorie sweeteners growing up. It’s was commonly used at home along with many years of dirt soda consumption. I am now 56_ and suffer from lymphedema and lipedrma. Could they be connected?

  77. Even though Stevia is a plant, I’ve just read it’s processed with a chemical..I don’t know what it is, but that’s concerning, if true?

    • Benjamin David Steele | December 15, 2023 at 7:34 am | Reply

      That is what I’d like to know, as a customer wanting to obtain healthy products. Are all stevia products made using extractive processes of pure alcohol? Or are there other chemicals used and other residues that remain? What about the other ingredients added to stevia products? And what pesticides are used in stevia agriculture?

      Or for that matter, what kinds of metals, particularly heavy metals, do stevia plants uptake from the soil and water? Even excess iron in stevia potentially could be a problem, although easily resolved with sufficient taurine in the diet or from supplementation. Anyway, the details matter, but studies like this ignore such confounders.

  78. I agree that not all ” natural” substances are safe to ingest. Arsenic is a natural substances, for example. And mercury, etc.

  79. * Why didn’t the test include water sweetened with real sugar? Wouldn’t the scientists want to know if real sugar also reduces memory similar to artificial sweeteners. Wouldnt readers want to know that?

    * Most to all stevia is sourced from China because the native and pure variety from South America is so expensive. The article doesn’t make clear the source or the purity of the stevia tested, which would be very important to control what’s actually being tested, pure stevia or stevia cut with all kinds of other chemicals and other junk. The poor, unregulated quality of Chinese manufacturing practices is well established.
    You can toss this study into the circular file.

    • Benjamin David Steele | December 15, 2023 at 7:38 am | Reply

      Recently, I was at the grocery store to pick up some stevia. One product came from China and another from South Korea. I went with the latter. Whenever possible, I’ll especially avoid food products from China.

      I don’t trust what comes out of that country because of their lack of regulation, combined with high levels of pollution. On top of that, as you point out, one has no idea what is being added into the product, most likely not being listed on the packaging.

  80. I believe this study. I used to use artificial sweetners and I have stopped because every time I used them I felt bloated

  81. Monk Fruit or do they screw that up during providing too?

  82. Stevia is a natural plant found in nature, whereas the others are chemically made. I would trust what is found in nature before any chemical.

  83. When my grandparents made tea, they made it unsweetened. They had Sweet-N-Low packets.
    I was in my early teens at this time.
    I used them for a short time but hated the chemical aftertaste. So, I would use real sugar or drink it without sugar.
    I felt it wasn’t good for me so I quit using them.
    And, no, stevia tastes NOTHING like real sugar. I can detect even small amounts of fake sugar in foods and beverages.
    When I was in my 20’s, I tried a 20 oz. Diet Dr. Pepper. They said it tasted like the original.
    Well, it tasted like crap.
    It left a chemical aftertaste and my mouth was dry. I got a headache and stomach cramps.
    I had to run to the bathroom 5 times in under 10 minutes.
    Among the many health problems fake sugar causes, one of them is brittle bones.
    My sister got diabetes from a medication so she would just drink the diet stuff.
    Her glucose levels were all over the place, mostly in the high 400-500’s, and she had constant diarrhea.
    I told her to stop drinking that junk and just use real sugar in moderation.
    After just a few days, her glucose levels started normalizing, 100-150, and her bathroom breaks decreased.
    No wonder people are sicker and fatter today than ever before.
    All these so called “diet” “health” foods and beverages.
    Big Pharma likes this though. They make billions pushing this crap onto people desperate to lose weight and get healthy.
    Just eat regular food in moderation.
    Also, it’s a myth that sugar causes diabetes.
    It’s more genetic.
    I’m so used to eating real sugar that I can barely eat or drink anything with High Fructose Corn Syrup in it.
    That stuff can also cause inflammation in your body.
    I think they need to stop experimenting on our foods and drinks.
    Can’t we just get real food not pumped full of crap?

  84. Absolutely love yhe people who are stuck on the words artificial and natural. Asbestos is natural. Uranium is natural. Arsenic is natural. Does that mean they are safe? Natural does not mean something is automatically safe and artificial is not a bad word. People, learn to read the articles and stop arguing for what you want to believe.

  85. This shows why people lose confidence in science. The word “artificial” is only found in the comment section, yet people seem to have read it in the text. Also 1 example where the effect did not occur does not disprove a general thesis. Science contradicts my beliefs, therefore it’s wrong and I can prove it because I’m my head, they used a word wrong.

  86. They should just use plain sugar in kids drinks. They use high fructose syrup and sorbitol both in Hawaiian Punch and Hi-C drinks. And they don’t label them as containing artificial sweeteners but kids shouldn’t drink them. And they should leave out the fake colors too!

    • Steve Nordquist | October 31, 2022 at 12:27 am | Reply

      Fake colors and flavors are shelf-stable and cane is harder to automate (so it’s pricier.) Super low bar to hair dye safety if you just use drink mix… We could be due some product launches in natural but shelf stabilized water candying, plus grape varieties.

  87. What about sucralose? It is natural

  88. Truly amazing how people don’t even listen to what they read with their own eyes they need someone else to interpret it for them. Says low calorie sugar substitutes. Sheesh sheeple. I’ll bet you think covid came from the wet market and Biden is a good guy.

    • Steve Nordquist | October 31, 2022 at 12:14 am | Reply

      These lay sites do sweeten the stories; without the article, how would you know you’re working extra hard to remember stuff you did after a stevia (and um, pumpkin spice) drink?

  89. Rats don’t have much choice when it comes to offered food during an experiment. If given the choice to consume excessively sweet foods at a given point, of course they will, especially if something unpalatable was offered as an alternative. Also, humans can choose NOT to consume something. Everyone is different. Listen to your body. Make dietary choices based on how YOU feel and what your body tells you.

  90. Maybe you need to study Each artificial sweetener Individually to see which one is more likely to be harmful if that. I think the more science gets involved the more problems humans have with things.

  91. I knew there was a reason I don’t drink diet soda, besides the fact that 99% of it tastes like crap.

  92. Seems like a new way to try to get people to consume foods with real sugar in it so they get more diabetics

  93. The side effects of consuming too much sugar/calories is obesity, heart disease, glucose intolerance and death. As a insulin dependent 57 year old diabetic, I will take my risk consuming Diet Coke. Almost everyone that tells me that diet soda is worse than the real thing have no control of portion sizes and are obese. They consume way to many calories while drinking their high caloric soda, Jamba juices, energy drinks and alcoholic beverages. Moderation in all things.

  94. Steve Nordquist | October 30, 2022 at 10:05 pm | Reply

    Just wait, we’ll have trash memories of 10,000 mouse things thanks to guzzling monkfruit. Thanks mice, this is why most people can only clock 2 kinds of blue cheese. Also you shouldn’t dismiss discovery because of spite for the sweetener/nicotene/thickener/glyphos-adjuvant industry; get in there straightaway and investigate real mechanisms, genes and proteins. Eventually I need you to explain creatinine v. creatine…(side eyes biochemistry book under Bluetooth keyboard.)

  95. Why they didn’t investigate the most common sweetener, aspartame?

  96. I couldn’t find the sample size in the document. When I searched for the term ‘sample size’, nothing came up at all. The DEGs (Differential Gene Expression) implied at least 200 unique males and females in the study, but sample size should still be listed preferably at the top.

  97. According to Dr. Robert Schmerling, non-sugar sweeteners(NSSs) need more research. All the other studies done were inconclusive. He is a professor at Harvard Medical School. He said consume NSSs in moderation as we wait for the results of the other researches.

  98. Its no wonder cancer is so prevalent, the amount of chemicals we all consume each day in basic food.esp drinks and the huge amount of fast food consumed by children. No surprise at all when research eventually reveals what all this crap does to our bodies not to mention our minds.

  99. What about splenda?

  100. What are diabetics suppose to do? We like sweet things too

  101. I think Stevia was lumped in with other sweeteners in this study because the sugar industry probably wants you to not find a healthy solution. But I do believe the artificial sweeteners in this study were probably causing problems.

  102. An open mind is the best way to approach any new information.

  103. Would testing people who have a history of using these sweeteners tell us if their memory has been impaired by them? This avoids having to ask anyone to take a potentially harmful substance.

  104. Any research, study, “finding” etc that states the FDA agrees with their findings is NULL and VOID. (You really should at this point do the opposite of what they say) The FDA has been literally poisoning us for 60 years! With all of their “approved preservatives!” They have allowed arsenic in our chicken supply and are actively approving the sale of our farmland and food production companies to be sold to the CCP! Yes, China! End result, starvation. Obviously their end game is depopulation. Doubt me? Research for yourself.

    Never before in history have there been so many cases of cancers. And auto immune disorders did not exist before the FDA!

    No wonder the Feds are going after Amish farmers, they either want the preservative free food for themselves and or dont want the rest of us to catch on! (Most likely both)

    I’ll end with three thoughts/statements,

    1. The FDA has allowed MSG into any and every food source that will add it to their food for NO healthy purpose; sometimes hidden under partially different names, READ the effects of MSG use on our brains. Some are DEVASTATING, others such as the most common complaint people in the USA suffer from is insomnia. MSG causes insomnia (along with a plethora of other ailments, some extremely debilitating) .

    2. The FDA approved the Boston lab, The New York Institute of Technology in Jonesboro Ark. and other Public/Private labs to continually mix COVID variants in hope of creating the most lethal biological weapon known to man.

    3. EVERY person that has a loved one or themselves suffer from memory impairments and have used artificial sweeteners NEED TO SUE THE HECK OUT OF THE US GOVERNMENT and especially the FDA! After all these are the worst of Humanity; intentionally poisoning their citizens!

  105. All three with the exact same results? No difference? Would not a real study show levels or percentages of each sweetner?

  106. Whoever is responsible for this story title acts irresponsible. Really, it’s totally different to the article text.

    Such behaviour indicates too much stevia consumption in younger years, perhaps.

  107. One has to wonder why aspartame, the most widely used low-calorie sweetener, and sucralose were not included in this study. Perhaps some lobbying going on?

  108. Are there studies regarding the use of sugar alcohols and allulose? So many including myself are enjoying products such as Nick’s ice cream which is sugar free and uses sugar alcohols and cellulose.I can give it up if has side effect? I have also read they can cause diabetes and obesity and heard nutritionists avoid then. Any verification of such claims? Are there any safe sugar substitutes.

  109. The most toxic sweetener is High Fructose. It’s responsible for the majority of deaths that result from Metabolic Disease such as heart attacks, strokes and Cancer.

  110. I’ve suffered with both long term and short term memory loss since 1989. Neither are progressive but both are permanent, as a direct result of the consumption of aspartame. I couldn’t make a phone call, do my banking by myself, or remember anybody’s name. A friend told me she had seen a PBS show about a study being done about memory loss and aspartame. She suggested I give up my diet pop and the blue packets NutraSweet. It sounded too simple, but I tried it. Within days I noticed some improvement, and after three weeks I felt like Einstein. Although it helped to discontinue use, there was a permanent change in my memory. I recommend a book titled “Excitotoxins – The Taste That Kills” by a Dr. Blalogh. It talks about brain damage caused by aspartame, asulfame Potassium, or K, and msg and all of it’s hidden forms and relatives. We ARE being poisoned every day. Read your labels!

  111. The fact that they didn’t compare to a test group with over-processed, store bought sugar as well, makes this whole study an absolute joke. Anything the body processes as sugar has negative results on the brain and body with over consumption. And yes, what we consider “normal” amounts consumed as humans isn’t normal nor what nature intended we get from naturally sweet foods such as fruits. It’s entirely unnatural and unhealthy. And were the rats given extra water for the sweetner they consumed to couteract the fact that they’re ingesting sweetners? That’s also how it works. Same with salt, caffeine etc. How are people and scientists still so dumb these days? And regarding Stevia, processing to a powder form is the problem. Same for sugar. And sugar is pumped into most processed things we eat, not just sweet things. The natural untainted base for sugar and stevia (you know, the plants?) Should be considered as separate groups in these ridiculous studies, but surprise surprise, they never are. Admit the way we mass produce, over process and don’t use moderation is the actual problem already. Everyone is so stupid, it makes me tired of this planet.

  112. In my opinion, the study shows, that the rats didn’t developed connection in their brain and nervous system between sweet taste and nutritional reward,”sugar high”. This is pretty cool. So they probably won’t get addicted to sugar that easily.

  113. forum judi slot | July 10, 2023 at 10:40 am | Reply

    It’s onerous to seek out knowledgeable individuals on this matter, however you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  114. Dr. Pueblo Mcfannis | October 9, 2023 at 3:26 am | Reply

    So much FALSE information in these comments. LOL.
    STEVIA IS NOT “HIGHLY PROCESSED”. It is natural and can be used in its natural form.
    And this person saying “ITS ONEROUS TO SEEK OUT KNOWLEDGEABLE” blah blah blah. Please. This article is basic and isn’t back by any science.

  115. I recently have had memory decline and has proved not to be medical. I only use stevia, thinking it would help me with my food choices for a healthier me .I have used other sweetners in the past which was not so good for memory or bladder inflammation and pain which related to sweetners.I thought stevia was the answer. well I guessed wrong.Same issues took longer to kick in with memory decline and body inflammation.I am very sad about this considering Im out of option rather than honey or maple syrup which raises my blood sugars.so i do believe long term use of stevia is not good for you either still better than other poisons used for sweeteners.Any information on allulose or monkfruit.We cant get allulose in canada is there a reason is it also a bad sweetner?

  116. Ok, we already know that stevia comes (naturally) from nature, but the stevia sweetener that reaches our tables is in no way extracted from the plant, but synthesized in the laboratory! I had the PERSONAL experience of removing any and all artificial sweeteners from my diet (stevia, sucralose, erythritol, xylitol, aspartame or any other) and I feel that my mind is clearer and I no longer feel that heavy feeling in my head, brain fog so common at the time when I used these sweeteners unrestrainedly!

Leave a comment

Email address is optional. If provided, your email will not be published or shared.