A new study published this week discusses how sugar substitutes may actually contribute to obesity and diabetes. Dr. Eran Elinav, a Hebrew University alumnus, led a team at the Weizmann Institute of Science on the study, whose findings conclude that artificial sweeteners, such as saccharin, could actually be causing harm, rather than be used as a way to combat these metabolic disorders. Elinav’s team fed mice a variety of sweeteners and discovered that after 11 weeks, the animals showed glucose intolerance, a marker for potentially getting a metabolic disorder.

Although previous smaller studies linked sugar substitutes and metabolic disorders, Elinav’s study is the first to propose sweeteners may in fact be aggravating metabolic diseases. The study findings could also be a cause of concern in the food industry, where the sugar substitute market is flourishing.

Dr. Elinav completed his M.D. degree in 2000 from The Hebrew University as well as a clinical residency in internal medicine at Hebrew University Hadassah Hospital from 2001-2004.

Learn more about the study.