Are natural sweeteners better?


Andrew Huberman discusses the interaction between natural and artificial sweeteners with the body’s sweet sensing systems. He highlights the effects of both types on dopamine levels and blood glucose regulation. Initially, artificial sweeteners may not be preferred due to their lack of impact on blood glucose and dopamine. However, with continuous consumption, they can condition the dopamine system, leading to increased consumption and pleasure from these sweeteners.

Natural non-caloric sweeteners, which are plant-based, follow similar patterns to artificial sweeteners in this regard. The impact of these sweeteners, including natural ones, evolves over time, potentially involving dopamine pathways and affecting our blood sugar management when combined with caloric foods. This interaction is particularly noteworthy because it involves a kind of "Pavlovian conditioning," where the combined consumption of a non-caloric sweetener with sugar can later influence insulin secretion even if the future consumption is only of the sweetener without sugar 1 .

Artificial Sweeteners

Andrew explains how artificial sweeteners interact with our taste system and affect our dopamine levels and blood glucose. He discusses how we can rewire our taste system and the effects of consuming artificial sweeteners over time.

Huberman Lab

Nutrients For Brain Health & Performance | Huberman Lab Podcast #42