Diet sodas increase hunger?!?

By Dr. Ron Hekier April 26, 2017







It’s 10:41 p.m. and instead of going to bed I’m reading scientific articles. And I found an article that unfortunately or fortunately is going to change the way I think and change the way I act everyday.  Every day I usually have one or two Coke Zeros. I almost always have one Monster Zero for the caffeine.


I’m going to change what I’m doing because I’m reading a paper in the February 2017 Journal of Obesity Research and Clinical Practice. It’s a paper that studied the role of carbonated beverages and the hormone called ghrelin. Ghrelin is a hormone that has been shown to increase hunger in humans and animals and these researchers started off with rats and then they moved on to humans in their trial.


Very briefly what they did is they gave water, a regular carbonated soda, a diet carbonated soda, and flat soda to rats.

They studied the level of ghrelin, which is a hormone believed to be largely responsible for hunger.

The researchers found that when they gave the diet soda and the carbonated soda to the rats, the ghrelin level increased significantly. 

Over the course of several  months those rats given either regular soda or diet no-calorie soda ate more and got fatter.

The researchers then repeated the study in humans and they had 20 volunteers drink either water, a regular soda, carbonated soda, carbonated water, or a flat soda 1 hour after a meal.

They found that those that drank anything carbonated after they ate,  whether regular soda, diet soda, or even carbonated water, showed an increase in their ghrelin levels.

Ghrelin is widely believed to be one of the hormones which causes hunger. So this is pretty fascinating and interesting.

If these study results are corroborated and replicated then what this shows is that by drinking carbonated drinks, even if they’re zero calorie soda drinks, we can be increasing our hunger levels.  Therefore we are more likely to eat more and more likely to gain weight.

This is interesting because several studies have recently shown that it appears that people who drink diet carbonated beverages appear to weigh more than people who do not and I never understood that.

I never could understand why some studies showed that drinking zero calorie soda can lead to weight gain.

So once again: reported in the February 2017 edition of the journal Obesity Research and Clinical Practice a study performed first in rats and then then in humans.


Carbonated beverages, even diet no-calorie carbonated beverages increase the hormone called ghrelin which is responsible, at least partially ,for causing hunger in people.

So we may want to stop with all the carbonated drinks even the diet soda. That may mean I have to say goodbye to my Coke Zero, and goodbye to my Monster Zero.

I may have to start drinking coffee and more water.  What do you think?

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Dr. Ron Hekier

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