Live experiment, part 2

(Alec) #1

Here we go again. This time I am testing the same sweetener below (mostly erythritol), and testing what impact it has on my BG, and hence testing for an insulogenic effect. A few minutes ago, I tested my BG level, and it was at my usual base level of 5.0 (pic below).

Last time I ingested 50g of this sweetener (pic below) and got an insulogenic effect (drop of BG from 5.2 to 4.5). But Brian @Bellyman pointed out that 50g of sweetener was not real life. He was right. So, this time, I have ingested 6g which was the amount I normally use on my raspberry/cream dessert I rather like right now. So this time I am testing whether a much lower quantity of this sweetener has an effect on BG and hence insulin.

See you in 20mins for the T+30 result.

Studies showing Sweeteners that Raise Insulin Levels?
Blood Glucose Monitoring for Dummies
Get rid of the sweet stuff
Watch this video on artificial sweeteners
(Alec) #2

T+30, result below. As before, nothing happening.

(Alec) #3

T+60… interesting. Similar to last time (but this time was with about 10% of the volume of last time).

(Marfi) #4

This is the sweetener I use (although in Australia it comes in a green pack - not sure if there’s any difference), so I’m interested in your result. I’ve never measured my BGLs and don’t really understand the numbers… but does your experiment show that the sweetener has no insulin effect on you?

(Alec) #5

T+90, BG staying down… so last one not random.

(Alec) #6

Still mid-experiment, but at the moment, it looks like even smaller, real-life quantity of this sweetener does have an insulin effect on me. Be aware that everyone has different responses to sweeteners, so my result may not be the same for you or anyone else. Hence putting this in n=1!

(Marfi) #7

Apologies if this is a dumb question… but does the fact that your BG reading is going DOWN mean that your body is producing insulin to lower it?

(Alec) #8

Final score at T+120… BG staying low this time.

Interpretation: I do get an insulin reaction from just 6g quantity of this sweetener. The reaction, interestingly, is similar to the reaction I had when I ingested 50g of the same sweetener. A result that is unexpected, and difficult to explain. Perhaps the ingestion of the sweetener triggers a similar sized pulse of insulin regardless of quantity of ingested sweetener?

Given the last 2 results, especially this one, I am going to stop using this sweetener, I am next (maybe tomorrow) going to test a similar quantity of xylitol.

Comments, questions and suggestions always welcome. Thank you to @Bellyman for a suggested change that led to this particular trial. It has been very interesting and useful.

(Deb) #9

Great post and reason I stopped Stevia. So many many people, even keto people, don’t understand that when a food DROPS your BG below your starting point, it triggers insulin to raise it! We are so driven to just lower BG. We don’t always know the whole science. Thanks for the experiment!

(Alec) #10

Yes, that’s exactly what’s going on here. A sweetener has no carbs or protein, hence no BG increase effect. However, if the sweetener creates an insulin response then the insulin will drive the BG downwards, and that is exactly what has happened. Conclusion: this sweetener drives insulin in me. So best I avoid it.

(Alec) #11

That’s not quite how I understand it. My understanding is that the sweetener drives an insulin response, which drives the BG lower. As the insulin dissipates, the BG reverts to normal. As I understand it, insulin always would drive BG lower, not higher.

(Marfi) #12

Ah thank you! That makes sense now. Think I’m going to have to cut this sweetener out… I’ve been having a lot of it daily in coffee and fat bombs. It’s probably what’s caused my third binge since starting keto. Might even try doing your experiment on myself.

(Alec) #13

I would recommend you do. You can never tell what effect it will have on you until you test it. Sometimes other people’s results are transferable, sometimes they are not.

(Deb) #14

Someone explained it to me differently but regardless, the insulin response is still there. That is the important thing.

(Karen) #15

Very cool n=1. What sweetener did you check last? Stevia? I have etitritol on hand. Haven’t used much. Was on a mug came kick for a while… Let me know if you check Splenda zero.


(Brian) #16

Thanks for the update Alec! It’s interesting, for sure. It’s always good to have your own N=1 data.

(Brian) #17

I got to wondering, Alec… and this may be beyond what you’d want to try, but it would be more relevant to me personally…

What would be the reaction to that 6g of sweetener at the end of a normal keto meal compared to that identical normal keto meal without the sweetener?

The reason I ask that is because I never consume sweetener all by itself. And I don’t eat desserts or have coffee at any other time than meal time. Pretty much, if we eat a meal, it will bump up the insulin, at least to some extent, even very keto friendly, non-sweetener stuff. So the question to me might be whether that 6g of erythritol has any noticeable effect on anything when consumed along with a meal. You’ve established that it does have an effect for you when consumed alone. Would the insulin response be larger with the meal + erythritol than it would be with just the meal?

It’s something I wondered about. I’m sure it would be a bit tedious to try to duplicate exact meals and the circumstances surrounding as many things, food and otherwise, can affect insulin.

(Deb) #18

So, can you SEE the glucose spike that causes the insulin response? Or is it so fast that it is imperceptible to a bg test, and you can only ser the end result of the drop in glucose?

(Alec) #19

That’s right. As we can’t test directly for insulin, we are testing BG as this in theory should go down if there’s an insulin response to the sweetener and stay the same if there’s not.

(Alec) #20

Again, good thinking, I might try it. It’s a little more involved process wise, and the results I think will be harder to interpret, but I will see what I can do. Thanks for the idea.