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. 2012 Apr;58(2):504-7.
doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2011.12.001. Epub 2011 Dec 8.

Amygdala Response to Sucrose Consumption Is Inversely Related to Artificial Sweetener Use

Free PMC article

Amygdala Response to Sucrose Consumption Is Inversely Related to Artificial Sweetener Use

K J Rudenga et al. Appetite. .
Free PMC article


Controversy exists over whether exposure to artificial sweeteners degrades the predictive relationship between sweet taste and its post-ingestive consequences. Here we tested whether brain response to caloric sucrose is influenced by individual differences in self-reported artificial sweetener use. Twenty-six subjects participated in fMRI scanning while consuming sucrose solutions. A negative correlation between artificial sweetener use and amygdala response to sucrose ingestion was observed. This finding supports the hypothesis that artificial sweetener use may be associated with brain changes that could influence eating behavior.

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing financial conflicts of interest.


Figure 1
Figure 1. Relationship between amygdala and insula response to sweet taste and artificial sweetener use
Coronal sections showing the regions of insula and amygdala in which response to sweet taste vs. tasteless (contrast of SS -tls) correlates with artificial sweetener use. The graphs show parameter estimates at the peak voxel in the circled region for the contrast of SS-tls plotted against NQ Artificial Sweetener Use scores. The color bar represents the T-scale for the activations shown. Images are displayed at p≤0.005 and k≥5 voxels. Post-hoc tests showed the strength of this correlation in the peak voxel to be r2=0.43 (amygdala) and r2=0.38 (insula). * The figure has been updated to reflect the analysis with covariates

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