|Image 1: I guess plastic dolls don't care about "fat" anyway.. so why would they drink diet coke, then?|
The VAT burning effects of skimmed milk
The Danish researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial to investigate the effects of different non-alcoholic beverages on the body composition of 60 healthy, non-diabetic subjects with a BMI (kg/m²) between 26 and 40 (age 20-50y). In the absence of any other dietary (or exercise) interventions, 45 of the subjects had consume 1l of either regular Coca Cola (yes it was the original ;-), diet Coke or Milk in addition to their regular water intake. The remaining 15 subjects who consumed nothing but water served as a control.
|Figure 1: Macronutrient (g/100ml) and energy content (kj/day) of the three non-water beverages in the study (data adapted from Maersk. 2011)|
|Figure 2: Changes in fat mass of subjects who consumed diet coke, milk or water over the course of the 6 months trial expressed relative to subjects in the regular coke group; * p < 0.05 (calculated based on Maersk. 2011)|
|Figure 3: Changes in body weight, total fat mass, subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue (SAAT), visceral fat to SAAT ratio, lean mass and bone mass after 6 months (data adapted from Maersk. 2011)|
"And what about diet coke? Is it really benign?"
I know that this question is preying on your minds, right now: "Could it really be that the aspartame sweetened poison is not fattening? I mean doesn't it spike insulin?" ... based on the body composition data, the answer would be "Yes! 1l of aspartame sweetened diet coke per day does not hinder weight loss." If we do yet also consider a few other variables and - once again - don't rely all too much on the power of statistics, it does appear as if there exists the remote possibility that the difference between diet coke and water is more profound than the 15kj energy difference would suggest.
|Figure 4: Changes in markers of blood glucose management and blood pressure after 6 months (data adapted from Maersk. 2011)|
|Figure 5: Changes in leptin, total cholesterol, triglycerides and HDL after 6 months (data adapted from Maersk. 2011)|
"So diet coke is better than water?"
Before you do now start to pound liter after liter of diet coke every day, let me put out one, or rather two hypothesis that could well explain the previously mentioned differences:
- Although the the lifestyle changes of the subjects regarding diet and physical activity were monitored at baseline, after 3 mo, and at the end of the intervention with the use of a 7 - d dietary record and a validated questionnaire concerning physical activity at work, during leisure time, and during sports, this was no clinical setting, where the scientists fed identical diets (except for the beverages) to every participant. The subjects in the diet coke group could have thusly simply have satisfied their sweet tooth by consuming the brown brew and could consequently have reduced their intake of sugary foods. That alone could explain the mostly statistically non-significant differences between the diet coke and the
- The "no-calorie" issue aside, diet coke is also caffeinated and as a regular visitor of this blog you will be well aware of the beneficial metabolic effects of caffeine. And though the 1L of coke contain only 131mg of caffeine, this would probably go as a "statistical significant difference" compared to water - and I guess I do not have to repeat that the latter was not the case for the previously discussed "advantages".