Metabolic Effects of Sugar and Aspartame

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"What are the effects of consuming sugar- and aspartame-sweetened beverages with standardized diets?"
Age: 18 to 40 years old
Healthy Volunteers: Yes
Keywords: obesity, Type II Diabetes
Type: Other study
We hope to learn more about the effects of consuming sugar- and aspartame-sweetened beverages with meals in a situation in which we know exactly what the other meal components consists of. Therefore, throughout the first 6 weeks of the study we will provide the participants with the sweetened beverages and the meals that they will consume with the beverages. This will allow us to study if consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has effects on your blood triglyceride and cholesterol concentrations and your body’s sensitivity to the hormone insulin without having to account for the other components in your usual diet. We also hope to learn more about the effects of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages with the meals people usually consume. Therefore during the last 4 weeks of the study participants will consume the beverages we provide with their normal meals.
This study requires

Approximately 33 study visits Please contact for details

Who can participate

Inclusion Criteria:

  • BMI 22-28 kg/m2

  • Self-reported stable body weight during the prior six months

Exclusion criteria:

  • Fasting glucose >105 mg/dl

  • Evidence of liver disorder [AST (Aspartate Aminotransferase) or ALT (Alanine Aminotransferase)] >200% upper limit of normal range)

  • Evidence of kidney disorder (>2.0mg/dl creatinine)

  • Evidence of thyroid disorder (out of normal range)

  • Systolic blood pressure consistently over 140mm Hg (mercury) or diastolic blood pressure over 90mmHg

  • Triglycerides > 200mg/dl

  • LDL-C > 130mg/dl in combination with Chol:HDL > 4

  • Hemoglobin < 8.5 g/dL

  • Pregnant or lactating women

  • Any other condition that, in the opinion of the investigators, would put the subject at risk

  • Current, prior (within 12 months), or anticipated use of any hypolipidemic or anti-diabetic agents.

  • Use of thyroid, anti-hypertensive, anti-depressant, weight loss medications or any other medication which, in the opinion of the investigator, may confound study results

  • Use of tobacco

  • Strenuous exerciser (>3.5 hours/week at a level more vigorous than walking)

  • Surgery for weight loss

  • Diet exclusions: Food allergies, special dietary restrictions, food allergies, routine consumption of less than 3 meals/day, routine ingestion of more than 2 sugar-sweetened beverages or 1 alcoholic beverage/day, unwillingness to consume any food on study menu

  • Hydrogen concentration in breath sample following consumption of HFCS-beverage during screening >50ppm

  • Veins that are assessed by the CCRC (Clinical Research Center) R.N.s as being unsuitable for long-term infusions and multiple blood draws from a catheter.

  • Pre-existing claustrophobia or metal implants that preclude MRI

Benefits and risks of participating
There are no benefits to you from your taking part in this research. We cannot promise any benefits to others from your taking part in this research. However, possible benefits to others include generating study results that will have a positive impact on public health.
It is possible that consumption of the sugar-sweetened beverages will cause your cholesterol (including low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C)) or triglyceride concentrations, or your body weight to increase. Any such changes should return to normal on a healthy meal plan such as the USDA MyPlate. Dietary guidelines for a healthy meal plan will be provided at the end of the study.
Please contact for details
PDF Docs
MESA Consent Form
Sample Study Menu
Study duration and period
Aproximately 2.5 months
Recruitment period
From Nov. 21, 2013
UC Davis Ragle Human Nutrition Center
1 Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
Research Topic
  • Chronic Disease of Cardiovascular System
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Obesity

Have any questions or want to learn more? Leave your contact details below and the research team will reach out to you.


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