We’re always trying to find new, healthier ways to live, and with that comes tons of new ingredients, new diets and more. Contrary to popular belief, just because something says “zero-calorie,” doesn’t always mean it’s good for you. This week, a new study even found that this zero-calorie sweetener has been linked to increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Erythritol, a zero-calorie sugar carb found naturally in many fruits and vegetables and used for adding bulk or sweeting stevia, monk fruit and other keto, reduced-sugar products, has just been linked to blood clots, stroke, heart attack and even death, according to a recent study published by the Nature Medicine journal. Lead researcher and Cleveland, OH physician scientist, Stanley Hazen, MD, explained that, though the team did not expect to discover this information about erythritol, the risks found were “not modest.”
“If your blood level of erythritol was in the top 25% compared to the bottom 25%, there was about a two-fold higher risk for heart attack and stroke. It’s on par with the strongest of cardiac risk factors, like diabetes,” explains Dr. Hazen. Additionally, the study found that individuals with pre-existing risk factors for heart disease, such as diabetes, were twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke if they experienced the highest levels of the sugar carb in their blood.
Revelations like these are easy to panic over, but Denver cardiologist Andrew Freeman, MD reminds readers “that more research is needed,” but that, in the meantime, “in an abundance of caution, it might make sense to limit erythritol in your diet for now.”
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