Home > Diet and nutrition > News Updated 18 September 2013 Carbonation in soft drinks alters brain's perception Carbonation, an essential component of popular soft drinks, alters the brain's perception of sweetness, according to a new study. 1 iStock Related Why soda is bad for you Fizzy drinks tied to kids' behaviour problems Sugary drinks increase diabetes Vit & Min doses per day » Count calories in food » Is my vegetarian diet balanced? » Ask The Dietitians » 10 foods to boost your immune system Your quick guide to Banting Carbonation, an essential component of popular soft drinks, alters the brain's perception of sweetness and makes it difficult for the brain to determine the difference between sugar and artificial sweeteners, according to a new article in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association. "This study proves that the right combination of carbonation and artificial sweeteners can leave the sweet taste of diet drinks indistinguishable from normal drinks," said study author, Rosario Cuomo, associate professor, gastroenterology, department of clinical medicine and surgery, "Federico II" University, Naples, Italy."Tricking the brain about the type of sweet could be advantageous to weight loss. It facilitates the consumption of low-calorie drinks because their taste is perceived as pleasant as the sugary, calorie-laden drink."May stimulate sugar consumptionThe study identifies, however, that there is a downside to this effect; the combination of carbonation and sugar may stimulate increased sugar and food consumption since the brain perceives less sugar intake and energy balance is impaired. This interpretation might better explain the prevalence of eating disorders, metabolic diseases and obesity among diet-soda drinkers.Investigators used functional magnetic resonance imaging to monitor changes in regional brain activity in response to naturally or artificially sweetened carbonated beverages. The findings were a result of the integration of information on gastric fullness and on nutrient depletion conveyed to the brain.Future studies combining analysis of carbonation effect on sweetness detection in taste buds and responses elicited by the carbonated sweetened beverages in the gastrointestinal cavity will be required to further clarify the puzzling link between reduced calorie intake with diet drinks and increased incidence of obesity and metabolic diseases. EurekAlert NEXT ON HEALTH24X Coke tackles sugar concerns with pricing, recipe moves 2017-06-08 13:43 More: Diet and nutritionNews advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 1 comment Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Other news Medical SEE: Meet the man with the most teeth in the world Lifestyle Your wallpaper might be making you sick Lifestyle How to communicate to your kids about nutrition Medical Legalised dagga may lead to more road accidents Medical Testicular cancer survivor: 'My testicle doubled in size' Mental health OCD linked to inflammation in the brain From our sponsors WIN a R2000 Skin Renewal voucher! Constipation in women SA's old diesel vehicles continue to fuel allergies Complete our allergy survey and stand a chance to win R 1000! Live healthier Wasting water? » South Africa is facing a water crisis Water saving tips Water quality report shocks SEE: How much water do you use per day? With level 4 water restrictions in Cape Town, residents are urged to use a maximum of 100 litres per person per day. Here’s how quickly it adds up. Life saving tip! » SEE: 10 things to keep in your first aid kit 10 first aid myths Here's why you need a first aid kit in the car Emergency services are often spread thin, especially when storms and major disasters strike. When travelling on the road, having a well-stocked first aid kit could be a lifesaver.