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Cleveland Clinic study reveals artificial sweetener erythritol could increase risk of heart attack, stroke

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Posted at 11:28 PM, Feb 27, 2023

Doctors are issuing a warning about a certain artificial sweetener that a Cleveland Clinic study reveals could increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Dr. Marco Witkowski one of the study’s authors spoke with News 5's Taneisha Cordell in regard to the study's findings. Watch the full story in the player above.

Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic looked studied over 4,000 people in U.S. and Europe and found that those with higher erythritol levels in their blood were at elevated risk of experiencing a major adverse cardiac event, such as heart attack, stroke or death, according to a news release from the clinic.

Erythritol is an artificial sweetener used in keto and zero-sugar foods.

“I think that there's enough data with regard to erythritol to take an abundance of caution and avoid its use and look on labels and make sure to avoid food that has erythritol in it,” said Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Stanley Hazen, who conducted the study.

The results of the study revealed that erythritol made blood platelets easier to activate and form a clot, directly linking the ingestion of erythritol to heightened clot formation, according to the news release.

Erythritol is about 70% as sweet as sugar and is produced by fermenting corn, the release states. It is currently “Generally Recognized as Safe” by the FDA, meaning there is no requirement for long-term safety studies.

He says there are several artificial sweeteners, but he only studied erythritol, so this does not mean every sweetener carries these same risks.

The authors of the study recommend talking to your doctor or a certified dietician to learn more about health food choices and to receive personalized recommendations.

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