Bacteria May Be Reason Diet Soda Can Cause Weight Gain

Ingredients in diet soda may cause changes in the bacteria that naturally live in your gut, possibly leading to weight gain, a new study says.

Men’s Health reported July 7 that an overview of past research published in Obesity Reviews concludes that fructose, artificial sweeteners, and sugar alcohols commonly found in diet soda may cause these bacteria to produce more short-chain fatty acids, which in turn can decrease satiety signals. “This signaling may cause disruptions in our feeling full and hence prevent us from stopping to eat when we should,” explains review author Amanda Payne, Ph.D.

Overproduction of short-chain fatty acids — which also can be caused by consumption of regular sugar — also can lead to dangerous inflammation of gut tissue.

Whether you enjoy regular or diet soda, it’s best to consume it in moderation (along with sweetened foods in general). The latest research suggests that diet soda not only won’t help you lose weight, it could cause other health problems. For healthy gut bacteria, drink water instead and eat lots of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.

(Photo © Jacreative via Flickr)