Are Diet Drinks Actually Good For You?
Drinking diet-branded soft drinks could actually prevent you from losing weight, a study is suggesting.
Many opt for diet options while trying to shed a few pounds - but this could be having the opposite effect, experts are warning.
Rather than help you lose weight, the low-calorie sugary drinks could actually harm your metabolism.
Scientists claim the drinks are packed with chemicals which could actually do more harm than good.
It will come as bad news to millions of people who believe diet versions of soft drinks help them lose weight.
But the new claims have been slammed as "baseless" by the British Soft Drinks Association.
Massachusetts General Hospital researchers found the sweetener aspartame is the culprit which works against slimmers.
Mice it tested by giving it to them in their drinks gained more weight - and developed more issues with their metabolism - than those who weren't.
Aspartame contains a product called phenylalanine which it's claimed disrupts one of the body's enzymes which is key to preventing metabolic disorders.
MailOnline reported that it was similar to a condition seen in people with Type 2 diabetes or heart disease.
The report's senior author Dr Richard Hodin said: "Sugar substitutes like aspartame are designed to promote weight loss and decrease the incidence of metabolic syndrome, but a number of clinical and epidemiologic studies have suggested that these products don't work very well and may actually make things worse.
"We found that aspartame blocks a gut enzyme called intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP) that we previously showed can prevent obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
"So we think that aspartame might not work because, even as it is substituting for sugar, it blocks the beneficial aspects of IAP."