If you find yourself reaching for artificial sweeteners in an attempt to spare yourself some calories, you might want to think again.

New research from France suggests that consuming common artificial sweeteners can increase your risk of cancer.

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Artificial sweeteners: cancer risk

Millions of people consume artificial sweeteners on a daily basis. These substances have been marketed since the beginning as a way to reduce sugar and calorie intake without sacrificing sweetness. Artificial sweeteners a staple in many candies, canned foods, and diet sodas.

The researchers analyzed data from just over 100,000 adults living in France who were already taking part in an ongoing nutrition study since 2009.

Participants were self-reporting their medical history, sociodemographic information, diet, lifestyle, and health data. The team took people’s data on artificial sweetener intake from their dietary records.

A follow-up appointment with study participants allowed the researchers to collect data on any new diagnoses of cancer. By taking into account different factors that could play a role in cancer — such as a person’s age, body mass index, and smoking habits — the researchers performed a statistical analysis to calculate the relationship between artificial sweeteners and cancer.

They discovered that people who consumed large amounts of artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame and acesulfame-K, had a higher risk of developing cancer than people who did not consume them. In particular, the researchers observed a greater number of breast cancer and obesity-related cancer diagnoses among these individuals.

Why you should be powerbuilding in 2022

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It is perfectly natural to want the best of both worlds. Who wouldn’t want to be both rich and happy? What about intelligent and good looking? And, as lifters, who would be against looking strong as well as being strong?

For all your lofty strength ambitions and the necessity of bulking-related modesty (I see you, training in a hoody and sweatpants in December!) it’s fair to say nobody gets into lifting weights to look worse.

And yet, too often we see those chasing truly big numbers who abandon all hope of looking good and accept that their fate is to waddle around, with gut extending over their belt and all their hard-earned muscle hidden under a layer of blubber.

Similarly, we also see ripped, lean bodybuilders who can get out-benched by a high school footballer and couldn’t hit a parallel squat if their protein shake depended on it.

Enter powerbuilding. As you can probably guess from the name, powerbuilding is a hybrid of bodybuilding ethos with a powerlifting base. Or, to put it more simply: be strong, look muscular. Sounds good? Read on.

Click here to read the rest of this article from our expert trainer Dan Simons

The study ran into a selection bias problem as most participants did not represent the average population. Most of the participants were female, had higher education levels, and were more likely to practice healthy eating habits than the average person. Nonetheless, the researchers say the evidence points to a clear risk in using sugar alternatives.

“Our findings do not support the use of artificial sweeteners as safe alternatives for sugar in foods or beverages and provide important and novel information to address the controversies about their potential adverse health effects. These results are particularly relevant in the context of the ongoing in-depth re-evaluation of artificial sweeteners by EFSA and other agencies globally,” the researchers explain in a media release.

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