Roman Fenner, Tessa Evarts
Faculty Sponsor: A. Malcolm Campbell
The Sour Side of Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners (AS) are marketed to be a guilt-free alternative to sugar since they lack calories. They have been a popular sugar substitute among Americans for decades, and many will turn to AS so that they can eat the food they desire and not be concerned with the repercussions. A 2014 study conducted on mice by Suez et al. however, challenges this popular practice. The study revealed that prolonged usage of AS altered vital intestinal bacteria and caused glucose intolerance in the mice tested. Causing hyperglycemia in the blood, AS and their ability to trigger type-2 diabetes outweigh their short-term benefits.
Drug Addiction Is A Disease
The controversy about whether addiction is a disease or a choice has been heavily debated. Addiction is characterized by changes in brain systems that mediate the experience and anticipation of reward systems responsible for perception and memory. The data show that the addict’s brain is functionally different from the non-user; however, changes in brain function are caused by changes in brain structure. Because addiction alters brain structure causing change in brain function, it is a disease.