Do artificial sweeteners spike insulin?

Written by and verified by the Research Team. Last updated on Feb 10, 2012.


Protein can cause a spike in Insulin, but not aspartame[6]. Furthermore, consuming aspartame with or without carbohydrates resulted in aspartame not contributing to an insulin spike[7].

Diabetics were found to have no spike in insulin after ingesting nonnutritive sweeteners[8]. Swishing a solution in the mouth had no effect[9]

About the only study suggesting sweeteners could spike insulin was found in vitro rat pancreatic cells when coupled with glucose and done with direction transfusion (instead of ingested orally)[10]

the data from extensive in vivo studies in human subjects show that low-energy sweeteners do not have any of the adverse effects predicted by in vitro, in situ or knockout studies in animals. [11]


  1. Spiers PA, et al. Aspartame: neuropsychologic and neurophysiologic evaluation of acute and chronic effects . Am J Clin Nutr. (1998)
  2. Ford HE, et al. Effects of oral ingestion of sucralose on gut hormone response and appetite in healthy normal-weight subjects . Eur J Clin Nutr. (2011)
  3. Ma J, et al. Effect of the artificial sweetener, sucralose, on gastric emptying and incretin hormone release in healthy subjects . Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. (2009)
  4. Anton SD, et al. Effects of stevia, aspartame, and sucrose on food intake, satiety, and postprandial glucose and insulin levels . Appetite. (2010)
  5. Steinert RE, et al. Effects of carbohydrate sugars and artificial sweeteners on appetite and the secretion of gastrointestinal satiety peptides . Br J Nutr. (2011)
  6. Møller SE. Effect of aspartame and protein, administered in phenylalanine-equivalent doses, on plasma neutral amino acids, aspartate, insulin and glucose in man . Pharmacol Toxicol. (1991)
  7. Wolf-Novak LC, et al. Aspartame ingestion with and without carbohydrate in phenylketonuric and normal subjects: effect on plasma concentrations of amino acids, glucose, and insulin . Metabolism. (1990)
  8. Horwitz DL, McLane M, Kobe P. Response to single dose of aspartame or saccharin by NIDDM patients . Diabetes Care. (1988)
  9. Teff KL, Devine J, Engelman K. Sweet taste: effect on cephalic phase insulin release in men . Physiol Behav. (1995)
  10. Malaisse WJ, et al. Effects of artificial sweeteners on insulin release and cationic fluxes in rat pancreatic islets . Cell Signal. (1998)
  11. Andrew G. Renwicka,Samuel V. Molinarya. Sweet-taste receptors, low-energy sweeteners, glucose absorption and insulin release . British Journal of Nutrition. (2010)

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"Do artificial sweeteners spike insulin?,", published on 10 February 2012, last updated on 10 February 2012,