Expert consensus on low-calorie sweeteners:facts, research gaps and suggested actions


A consensus workshop on low-calorie sweeteners (LCS) was held in November 2018 where seventeen experts (the panel) discussed three themes identified as key to the science and policy of LCS: (1) weight management and glucose control; (2) consumption, safety and perception; (3) nutrition policy. The aims were to identify the reliable facts on LCS, suggest research gaps and propose future actions. The panel agreed that the safety of LCS is demonstrated by a substantial body of evidence reviewed by regulatory experts and current levels of consumption, even for high users, are within agreed safety margins. However, better risk communication is needed. More emphasis is required on the role of LCS in helping individuals reduce their sugar and energy intake, which is a public health priority. Based on reviews of clinical evidence to date, the panel concluded that LCS can be beneficial for weight management when they are used to replace sugar in products consumed in the diet (without energy substitution). The available evidence suggests no grounds for concerns about adverse effects of LCS on sweet preference, appetite or glucose control; indeed, LCS may improve diabetic control and dietary compliance. Regarding effects on the human gut microbiota, data are limited and do not provide adequate evidence that LCS affect gut health at doses relevant to human use. The panel identified research priorities, including collation of the totality of evidence on LCS and body weight control, monitoring and modelling of LCS intakes, impacts on sugar reduction and diet quality and developing effective communication strategies to foster informed choice. There is also a need to reconcile policy discrepancies between organisations and reduce regulatory hurdles that impede low-energy product development and reformulation.

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Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > Aston Medical School
Additional Information: © The Authors 2020 This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Consensus Reports,Food safety,Glucose control,Low-calorie sweeteners,Nutrition policy,Weight management,Medicine (miscellaneous),Nutrition and Dietetics
Publication ISSN: 1475-2700
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2024 17:06
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2020 13:21
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Related URLs: ... 7F2777692EEEA53 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Review article
Published Date: 2020-06-01
Published Online Date: 2020-01-13
Accepted Date: 2020-01-01
Authors: Ashwell, Margaret
Gibson, Sigrid
Bellisle, France
Buttriss, Judith
Drewnowski, Adam
Fantino, Marc
Gallagher, Alison M
de Graaf, Kees
Goscinny, Séverine
Hardman, Charlotte A
Laviada-Molina, Hugo
López-García, Rebeca
Magnuson, Berna
Mellor, Duane (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-1369-3868)
Rogers, Peter J
Rowland, Ian
Russell, Wendy
Sievenpiper, John L
la Vecchia, Carlo



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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