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Do you have sweet tooth genes?

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Yes, there are sweet tooth genes!   If you’ve been trying to cut down on sugar intake by replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners, beware of their potential side effects. Trying one of the best natural sweeteners that is also safe and has zero calories, Lakanto Monkfruit may just change the way you eat!

You probably heard that the average American consumes about 150 pounds of sugar each year. And because Americans consume so much sugar, we’ve seen a rise in diabetes, hyperactivity, obesity, depression, and fatigue. We know, of course, that sugar is addictive: if you have something sweet today, the memory centers in your brain remember that it gave your energy and you’ll want it again tomorrow. But did you ever think about having sweet tooth genes and how there may be genetic reasons why you love sweets so much?

Do you have a sweet tooth?

Nutritional studies have found that a person’s degree of preference for sugary foods can be genetically determined. TAS1R2 and TAS1R3 are two receptor genes that are inherited. In studies when the TAS1R23 and TAS1R3 receptor genes were turned off in mice, their desire to eat and drink sweet sugary food nearly disappeared.

So does snacking on sweet foods run in your family? Do you dislike bitter-tasting veggies from the cruciferous family? Genetic factors may influence your preference for bitter-tasting foods. The gene TAS2R38 is the bitterness receptor in humans.  Note the slight difference in the numbers after the R. Studies have demonstrated that the TAS2R38 gene can influence children’s sugar intake. If they are bitter tasters, healthy vegetables like broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, and arugula will favor sweeter tastes and avoid bitter flavored foods.  Indeed your genes can directly influence your sweet taste and how your taste receptors process sugary foods.

Because we know that sugar is harmful, many people have turned to artificial sweeteners and some have been eating and drinking them for decades. Are you still using aspartame and Splenda for a calorie-free sweet fix? Fortunately today there are better choices. Instead, try including certain sugar alternatives—not to be confused with artificial sweetener—to help satisfy that sweet tooth gene. 

Additionally, along with cultured foods, adding the right prebiotics and probiotics into a diet can be game-changing for anyone trying to live a healthier life or to conquer certain health conditions.

The Best Natural Sweeteners

Donna Gates spent years introducing stevia to tens of thousands of Americans during the years the FDA banned importation into the US. She knew how vital it was for us (and especially our children) to have a safe, sweet-tasting sugar substitute that did not feed fungal infections or raise blood sugar.

In those earlier days, there were no delicious examples of stevia. It was an unpopular herb because of the strong licorice-like aftertaste of the crude green leaf.

Body Ecology began offering stevia in a white powder that was an extract of the two sweet elements in stevia…rebaudioside and stevioside. We encouraged thousands of our customers to contact the FDA and request that stevia be given GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) approval as a sweetener. The FDA received constant phone calls and, two-and-a-half years later when the SunRider Company filed a formal petition, the FDA lifted the ban allowing it to be sold, but only as a dietary supplement.

The job was far from over, however, since Americans really had no idea of how to use this new white powder. Donna, knowing that there was a “learning curve” to a sugar substitute that was nothing like sugar developed recipes, co-authored a cookbook with Dr. Ray Sahalian called, STEVIA: Cooking with Nature’s Calorie-Free Sweetener.

Because Stevia is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar, most people found the fluffy white powder difficult to work with, so Body Ecology introduced the first higher quality Reb-A liquid concentrate. This more convenient form of stevia is great for sweetening beverages, probiotic drinks and breakfast dishes …but the powder or the liquid aren’t really that acceptable for baking.

Determined to find a solution and after much research and experimentation,  Donna was the first one to bring the sugar alcohol, Lakanto, to the US and market it as a new natural sweetener that is an all-around star for health and sweetness, including in baking.   Made from the naturally sweet luo han guo fruit (monk fruit), calorie-free Lakanto looks like sugar, tastes like sugar, and bakes like sugar — without sugar’s dangers.  There are so many ways that Stevia and Lakanto can be used – so make sure to tag us (@bodyecologyofficial) if you make your own creation that works well!

Benefits of Stevia and Lakanto

Even though Stevia and Lakanto are two of the best natural sweeteners, here at Body Ecology, we always like to note that most everything has a front and a back to it.  Stevia and Lakanto have some great benefits for many people.  Try not to use them in large amounts though – it’s not a good practice in general, especially if you have hormonal imbalances and infertility.  Also, if you have hypoglycemia or are sensitive to oxalates, use in moderation (typically a couple drops causes no issues for people). 

  • Zero calories
  • All natural ingredients
  • Sweetness equal to sugar
  • No aftertaste
  • Heat resistance makes it excellent for baking
  • May control blood sugar levels
  • Can be used anywhere in place of sugar
  • May prevent cavities
  • Comes in granulated, cubed, and syrup forms
  • Less likely to feed candida

Stevia and Lakanto may have great appeal if you:

  • Want to lose weight
  • Have diabetes or excess sugar in your blood
  • Are looking for a calorie-free, natural sweetener
  • Follow a low glycemic diet
  • Like a sweet taste, but not the side effects of artificial sweeteners
  • Have candida or other fungal and bacterial infections
  • Want to minimize sugar’s aging effect on your body

You may just find that Stevia and Lakanto are great complements to the Body Ecology system for health and healing, and can help you reach your wellness goals without giving up your sweet tooth!

Sources

  •  Liao, J., Schultz, P.G. Three sweet receptor genes are clustered in human Chromosome 1 . Mamm Genome 14, 291–301 (2003). See also: Reed DR, McDaniel AH. The human sweet tooth. BMC Oral Health. 2006;6 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S17. Published 2006 Jun 15.
  •  Sainz E, Korley JN, Battey JF, Sullivan SL, J Neurochem. 2001 May; 77(3):896-903. See also: Bachmanov AA, Reed DR, Ninomiya Y, Inoue M, Tordoff MG, Price RA, Beauchamp GK. Mamm Genome. 1997 Aug; 8(8):545-8.
  • Damak S, Rong M, Yasumatsu K, Kokrashvili Z, Varadarajan V, Zou S, Jiang P, Ninomiya Y, Margolskee RF. Science. 2003 Aug 8; 301(5634):850-3.
  •  Okoro EO, Brisibe F, Jolayemi ET, Hadizath Taimagari G. Ethn Dis. 2000 Winter; 10(1):53-9.
  • Pawellek I, Grote V, Rzehak P, et al. “Association of TAS2R38 variants with sweet food intake in children aged 1-6 years.” Appetite. 2016;107:126-134. See also: Mennella JA, Pepino MY, Reed DR. Genetic and environmental determinants of bitter perception and sweet preferences. Pediatrics. 2005;115(2).
  • “45 Alarming Statistics on American’s Sugar Consumption and the Effects of Sugar on Americans’ Health”.  The Diabetes Council.
  • Lillis, Charlotte. “What are the Side Effects of Aspartame?”. MedicalNewsToday.com. Jun 2018.
  • Aspartame.  Cancer.org.
  • Stanhope, Kimber, et al. “A dose-response study of consuming high-fructose corn syrup–sweetened beverages on lipid/lipoprotein risk factors for cardiovascular disease in young adults”. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 101, Issue 6, 1 June 2015,  1144–1154.
  • Walker, Ryan W., et al.  “Fructose content in popular beverages made with and without high-fructose corn syrup”.  Nutrition. Volume 30, Issues 7–8, July–August 2014, 928-935.
  • Danby, FW.  Nutrition and Aging Skin:  sugar and glycation. Clinics in Dermatology. 2010 Jul-Aug;28(4):409-11.
  • Kailash Prasad, Indu Dhar. “Oxidative Stress as a Mechanism of Added Sugar-Induced Cardiovascular Disease”.  . 2014 Dec; 23(4): 217–226.
  • Oates, Carla.  The good-gut guide.  Professional Beauty.  Issue Jan/Feb 2015 (Feb 2015).
  • Johnson, Jon.  “Splenda:  Is it Safe?”  MedicalNewsToday.com.  Feb 2017.
  • KU Leuven. “Researchers unravel how stevia controls blood sugar levels.” ScienceDaily.  April 2017.
  • Ma MS, Blanksma NG.  [Stevia in the fight against dental caries].  Ned Tijdschr Tandheelkd. 2015 Jan;122(1):51-5.
  • Thomas, JE, Glade, MJ.  “Stevia:  it’s not just about the calories”. The Open Obesity Journal.  2010, 2, 101-109.
  • Rodriguez-Palacios, A, et al.  “The Artificial Sweetener Splenda Promotes Gut Proteobacteria, Dysbiosis, and Myeloperoxidase Reactivity in Crohn’s Disease–Like Ileitis”. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. Volume 24, Issue 5, 23 April 2018, Pages 1005–1020.
  • The Best Sugar Substitutes for People with Diabetes.  Healthline.com.  Retrieved June 22, 2020
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