New Studies on Sugar and Smoking: Do We Really Need More Evidence?

We just can’t get enough of our favorite sugary treats, can we? We even admire artificial sweeteners saying they’re much better than regular sugars. How about smoking, how many sticks or packs do we consume per day? Haven’t we noticed that we age faster bit by bit by every puff of smoke we exhale and inhale? There are so many questions that we most probably already know the answers to. Still, we are in denial and still choose to continue our bad habits. Here are a few new studies that can shed some light of what we currently know about these topics.

Sugar Substitutes NOT Better Than Real Sugar

The truth really hits hard and bitter; sweeteners are not healthier than our regular sugars. There’s no science backing the claims of companies making our favorite sweeteners, that these are much better to consume than real sugars, though they’re not worse either.

A European research team did a study to 14,000 people regarding intake of sweeteners and its effect on BMI, eating behavior, oral health, cancer, kidney and heart diseases, mood swings, and other conditions. It was concluded that there’s no evidence of health benefits seen in consuming artificial sweeteners.

This new study just debunks the marketing ads of sugar substitute companies, making more people believe that their sweeteners are a healthier option than the conventional sugars. Though, at this point, doors haven’t closed for newer studies and research about the topic.

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Fatty Liver in Children Can Improve with Low Added Sugars

A study conducted at Emory University School of Medicine and the University of California San Diego School of Medicine revealed that adolescent boys with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease under a low added sugar diet saw a significant improvement compared to those under the usual diet. Added sugars are sugars added to food, beverages, and fruit juices.

The study focused on giving a healthy diet, mainly reducing sugary food and beverages. It was found that if their diet is low in sugar, there’s a reduction in liver fat and inflammation. They were pleased with the results, though they need more time and research to conclude whether reducing sugar consumption can treat non-alcoholic fatty liver in children.

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AI: Smoking Makes You Age Faster

If we notice the characters who smoke from the books we used to read, they were portrayed having older features. Well, it’s hard to judge by the book’s cover in reality. But a new study has shown that this portrayal of a haggard, older looking smoker might, somehow, be true, and this is not to judge entirely.

In a study made by Insilico Medicine, they suggest that smoking status can be known using blood chemistry, cell count, and advances in artificial intelligence (AI). They analyzed several biochemical markers of smokers and non-smokers, including glycated hemoglobin, urea, fasting glucose, and ferritin.

When they used the age-prediction AI models, they found that female smokers were predicted to be twice as old, and male smokers were predicted to be one and a half times as old compared to their nonsmoker counterparts. This shows that there’s an acceleration in the biological age with tobacco use.

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We know the consequences. There may come a time when we regret that we sticked to our old habits of consuming too much sugar or smoking every single time. Our body will have to pay for our behaviors. Let’s hope these new studies can shed even a tiny spark of hope to make our lifestyle choices a bit better.

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