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Study of the Reversibility of Glucose Intolerance Caused by Chronic Aspartame Consumption

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
 
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02520258
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : August 11, 2015
Last Update Posted : June 4, 2020
Sponsor:
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Thomas Huber, Rockefeller University

Brief Summary:
Experiments have shown that some artificial sweeteners like those in diet soda can cause changes in how the body responds to and uses sugar. These changes increase the chance of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other metabolic diseases. In this study, the investigators plan to see if the most common artificial sweetener, aspartame (brand name Equal, NutraSweet), causes these changes. The investigators believe that if metabolic changes are observed in a person who consumes aspartame, then removing all aspartame from the diet might lead to a reversal of the changes and a normalization of test results.This would impact sweetener additives in our foods and thus decrease the incidence of obesity, diabetes, and the metabolic syndrome.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Glucose Metabolism Disorder Other: Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) Other: Diet soda containing aspartame only Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

Experiments have shown that some artificial sweeteners like those in diet soda can cause changes in how the body responds to and uses sugar. These changes increase the chance of obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and other metabolic diseases. In this study, the investigators plan to see if the most commonly used artificial sweetener, aspartame, affects the body's response to sugar. The investigators believe that if metabolic changes are observed in a person who consumes aspartame, then removing all aspartame from the diet might lead to a reversal of the changes and a normalization of test results.

The investigators plan to study two (2) cohorts of healthy volunteers: 1) Those who regularly drink at least three cans per day of diet soda that contains aspartame (Cohort 1, Aspartame Consumers) and 2) participants who consume less than or equal to two (2) cans of diet soda per week (Cohort 2, Aspartame Naïve Participants).

Phase I of the study, the investigators will ask participants questions about their usual diet, including how much diet soda they usually drink. Participants will be screened by a test called the oral glucose tolerance test, or OGTT. This test involves coming to the hospital to drink sugary syrup, then have blood sugar checked every thirty (30) minutes for five (5) hours. Before the test, participants must refrain from eating or drinking anything for ten (10) hours. If the OGTT shows a high value, then the participant in cohort 1 (Aspartame Consumers) who regularly drink 3 or more cans per day of diet soda will be approached about continuing into the second phase of the study. For the participants in cohort 2 (consume less than or equal to two (2) cans of diet soda per week; Aspartame Naïve Participants), this will be the end of their participation in the study.

Phase II of the study, blood tests, OGTT, stool samples, and weight and body fat measurements a few times a week will track any changes in the participants during the study. During the phase II five (5) week study, participants will receive all of their meals from the Rockefeller University Hospital and should not have any outside food or drinks. The diet used throughout this study phase (II) is the Prudent Metabolic Diet. Participants can leave the hospital and continue to work, but must come for all tests and to receive meals. During Week One, participants will eat only food provided by the hospital but will continue to drink three (3) cans of diet soda per day. In Weeks Two through Four, participants will continue to eat food given to them by the hospital and will not be allowed to consume any foods or drinks that contain aspartame. In Week Five, participants will continue on the hospital diet, but will again start drinking three (3) cans of diet soda per day.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 75 participants
Allocation: Non-Randomized
Intervention Model: Sequential Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: Study of the Reversibility of Glucose Intolerance Caused by Chronic Aspartame Consumption
Actual Study Start Date : August 2015
Actual Primary Completion Date : June 25, 2019
Actual Study Completion Date : June 25, 2019

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine


Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Aspartame Consumers - Cohort 1

Experimental Group/Arm

Phase I - Questionnaires and fasting oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).

Phase II - (If OGTT results are abnormal, participants will be invited to participate in Phase II) Five (5) week study phase with Prudent Metabolic Diet and Intervention of diet soda containing aspartame only; Week 1: Prudent Metabolic Diet and 36oz diet soda po daily, Week 2-4: Prudent Metabolic Diet and no diet soda, Week 5: Prudent Metabolic Diet and 36 oz diet soda po daily.

Other: Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)
OGTT will be conducted following a ten (10) hour fast on Screening Visit 2 (Screening Visit 2 may be conducted between Day -42 to Day 1).

Other: Diet soda containing aspartame only
7 days of 36 oz diet soda po daily (Week 1), followed by 21 days washout (Weeks 2-4), and 7 days rechallenge (Week 5); Prudent metabolic diet; Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) on days (+/-2) 3, 7, 10, 14, 21, 28, 31, 35

Active Comparator: Aspartame Naive Participants - Cohort 2

Control Group/Arm

Phase I - Questionnaires and fasting oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).

Phase II - Not applicable for this cohort.

Other: Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)
OGTT will be conducted following a ten (10) hour fast on Screening Visit 2 (Screening Visit 2 may be conducted between Day -42 to Day 1).




Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Interval changes in blood glucose [ Time Frame: Interval 1: days 1 to 7; interval 2: days 8 to 28; interval 3: days 29 to 35 ]
    Phase II (cohort 1): Interval changes in blood glucose will be quantified from area under the curve calculated from oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT)

  2. Blood glucose [ Time Frame: Screening Visit 2: conducted between day -42 up to Day 1. ]
    Phase I (both cohorts): Blood glucose will be quantified from incremental area under the curve calculated from averaged oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT)


Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Interval changes in Glucagon [ Time Frame: Interval 1: days 1 to 7; interval 2: days 8 to 28; interval 3: days 29 to 35 ]
    Phase II (cohort 1): Interval changes in glucagon will be quantified from area under the curve calculated from oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT)

  2. Glucagon [ Time Frame: Screening Visit 2: conducted between day -42 up to Day 1. ]
    Phase I (both cohorts): glucagon will be quantified from area under the curve calculated from averaged oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT)

  3. Interval changes in Peptide Tyrosine Tyrosine (PYY) [ Time Frame: Interval 1: days 1 to 7; interval 2: days 8 to 28; interval 3: days 29 to 35 ]
    Phase II (cohort 1): Interval changes in PYY will be quantified from area under the curve calculated from oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT)

  4. Peptide Tyrosine Tyrosine (PYY) [ Time Frame: Screening Visit 2: conducted between day -42 up to Day 1. ]
    Phase I (both cohorts): PYY will be quantified from area under the curve calculated from averaged oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT)

  5. Interval changes in Leptin [ Time Frame: Interval 1: days 1 to 7; interval 2: days 8 to 28; interval 3: days 29 to 35 ]
    Phase II (cohort 1): Interval changes in Leptin will be quantified from area under the curve calculated from oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT)

  6. Leptin [ Time Frame: Screening Visit 2: conducted between day -42 up to Day 1. ]
    Phase I (both cohorts): Leptin will be quantified from area under the curve calculated from averaged oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT)

  7. Interval changes in Insulin [ Time Frame: Interval 1: days 1 to 7; interval 2: days 8 to 28; interval 3: days 29 to 35 ]
    Phase II (cohort 1): Interval changes in Insulin will be quantified from area under the curve calculated from oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT)

  8. Insulin [ Time Frame: Screening Visit 2: conducted between day -42 up to Day 1. ]
    Phase I (both cohorts): Insulin will be quantified from area under the curve calculated from averaged oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT)

  9. Interval changes in Ghrelin [ Time Frame: Interval 1: days 1 to 7; interval 2: days 8 to 28; interval 3: days 29 to 35 ]
    Phase II (cohort 1): Interval changes in Ghrelin will be quantified from area under the curve calculated from oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT)

  10. Ghrelin [ Time Frame: Screening Visit 2: conducted between day -42 up to Day 1. ]
    Phase I (both cohorts): Ghrelin will be quantified from area under the curve calculated from averaged oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT)

  11. Interval changes in Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) [ Time Frame: Interval 1: days 1 to 7; interval 2: days 8 to 28; interval 3: days 29 to 35 ]
    Phase II (cohort 1): Interval changes in GLP-1 will be quantified from area under the curve calculated from oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT)

  12. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) [ Time Frame: Screening Visit 2: conducted between day -42 up to Day 1. ]
    Phase I (both cohorts): GLP-1 will be quantified from area under the curve calculated from averaged oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT)

  13. Interval changes in Glucose-dependent insulin-releasing peptide (GIP) [ Time Frame: Interval 1: days 1 to 7; interval 2: days 8 to 28; interval 3: days 29 to 35 ]
    Phase II (cohort 1): Interval changes in GIP will be quantified from area under the curve calculated from oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT)

  14. Glucose-dependent insulin-releasing peptide (GIP) [ Time Frame: Screening Visit 2: conducted between day -42 up to Day 1. ]
    Phase I (both cohorts): GIP will be quantified from area under the curve calculated from averaged oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT)

  15. Interval Changes in C-peptide [ Time Frame: Interval 1: days 1 to 7; interval 2: days 8 to 28; interval 3: days 29 to 35 ]
    Phase II (cohort 1): Interval changes in C-peptide will be quantified from area under the curve calculated from oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT)

  16. C-peptide [ Time Frame: Screening Visit 2: conducted between day -42 up to Day 1. ]
    Phase I (both cohorts): C-peptide will be quantified from area under the curve calculated from averaged oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT)


Other Outcome Measures:
  1. Interval changes in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) - Phase II (Cohort 1) [ Time Frame: Interval 1: days 1 to 7; interval 2: days 8 to 28; interval 3: days 29 to 35 ]
  2. Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) - Phase I (both cohorts) [ Time Frame: Screening Visit 2: conducted between day -42 up to Day 1. ]
  3. Interval changes in body mass index (BMI) - Phase II (Cohort 1) [ Time Frame: Interval 1: days 1 to 7; interval 2: days 8 to 28; interval 3: days 29 to 35 ]
    BMI is calculated from measured height and weight

  4. Body mass index (BMI) - Phase I (both cohorts) [ Time Frame: Screening Visit 2: conducted between day -42 up to Day 1. ]
    BMI is calculated from measured height and weight

  5. Interval changes in body fat distribution - Phase II (Cohort 1) [ Time Frame: Interval 1: days 1 to 7; interval 2: days 8 to 28; interval 3: days 29 to 35 ]
  6. Body fat distribution - Phase I (both cohorts) [ Time Frame: Screening Visit 2: conducted between day -42 up to Day 1. ]
  7. Interval changes in whole body densitometry (BodPod) - Phase II (Cohort 1) [ Time Frame: Interval 1: days 1 to 7; interval 2: days 8 to 28; interval 3: days 29 to 35 ]
  8. Whole body densitometry (BodPod) - Phase I (both cohorts) [ Time Frame: Screening Visit 2: conducted between day -42 up to Day 1. ]
  9. Interval changes in blood pressure - Phase II (Cohort 1) [ Time Frame: Interval 1: days 1 to 7; interval 2: days 8 to 28; interval 3: days 29 to 35 ]
  10. Blood pressure - Phase I (both cohorts) [ Time Frame: Screening Visit 2: conducted between day -42 up to Day 1. ]
  11. Interval changes in frequency distribution of microbes found in stool samples (Phase II - cohort 1) [ Time Frame: Interval 1: days 6 to 7; interval 2: days 27 to 28; interval 3: days 34 or 35. ]


Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.


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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 45 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Male or female aged 18 - 45
  2. Weight stable for at least 3 months prior to screening (< 5% weight change)
  3. BMI of 21 - 29
  4. Cohort 1 - Aspartame Consumers: Primary dietary sweetener is aspartame; consumes at least 36 ounces of diet soda in which aspartame is a primary ingredient (Diet Coke or Diet Dr Pepper) a day for at least 6 months duration prior to study enrollment (Primary dietary sweetener is aspartame" should be defined as: "840g per week sucrose equivalent from aspartame and less than 280 grams per week sucrose equivalent from all other sweeteners (non-caloric and caloric sweeteners). For reference, one 12oz soda is 40g sucrose equivalent, and one teaspoon (one packet) of artificial sweetener is 4g sucrose equivalent.)"

    Cohort 2 - Aspartame Naïve Participants: Consumes less than or equal to 2 cans of diet soda per week

  5. Screening Visit #2 OGTT Outcome:

    • 0-h plasma glucose < 110 mg/dl AND
    • 2-h plasma glucose < 140 mg/dl
  6. Abnormal OGTT during the screening phase of the study (area under curve on the high end of distribution)
  7. Must be able to comply with a metabolic Prudent diet
  8. Willing to fast 10 hours before each OGTT and BodPod
  9. Current level of exercise (aerobic and/or resistance training) must be able to be sustained while an in-patient

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Any evidence of US National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III

    Clinical Identification of the Metabolic Syndrome (must have 3 or more of the following risk factors):

    Abdominal Obesity, given as a waist circumference:

    • Men >102 cm (>40 in)
    • Women > 88 cm (>35 in)

    Triglycerides >150 mg/dl

    HDL Cholesterol:

    • Men < 40 mg/dl
    • Women <50 mg/dl

    Blood Pressure >130/ >85 mm Hg

    Fasting Glucose > 110 mg/dl

  2. Average systolic blood pressure (SBP) > 150 mmHg and / or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) > 90 mmHG (based on 3 BPs taken at screening visit #1),
  3. LDL-C > 240mg/dl
  4. Triglycerides > 400 mg/dl
  5. Evidence of a liver disorder (ALT > three fold of the ULN)
  6. Evidence of any renal disease
  7. Currently on a weight-loss diet
  8. Diabetes
  9. Self-reported history of thyroid dysfunction
  10. Sugar sweetened beverage consumption (> 84 ounces per week)
  11. Hemoglobin <13.0 g/dl for males and 12.0 g/dl for females
  12. Current, prior (within 2 months), or anticipated use of any of the following medications:

    antihyperlipidemic, hyperglycemic medications, Antineoplastics, Antiretrovirals, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, Diuretics, Antihypertensives, Anticonvulsants, Hormone therapy, Birth control

  13. Self-reported antibiotic use within the previous 3 months
  14. Currently pregnant or lactating
  15. History of cardiac disease
  16. Active illegal drug user (self-reported)
  17. History of GI surgery (gastric bypass, bariatric, Roux-en-Y, colon resection, etc.)
  18. Habitual ingestion of > 2 alcoholic beverages/day
  19. Ever diagnosed with an eating disorder (self-reported)
  20. Use of steroids or beta agonists (orally, intranasal or inhaled) within a week of any OGTT
  21. Positive Hepatitis Serology (Hep. B surface Antibody; Hep. B surface antigen; Hep. C surface antibody)
  22. HIV Positive
  23. Tobacco use within the past 3 months
  24. Any medical or social condition that, in the opinion of the Investigator, might pose additional risk to the participant or confound the results of the study

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT02520258


Locations
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United States, New York
The Rockefeller University
New York, New York, United States, 10065
Sponsors and Collaborators
Rockefeller University
Investigators
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Principal Investigator: Thomas Huber, MD PhD Rockefeller University
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Responsible Party: Thomas Huber, Research Assistant Professor, Rockefeller University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02520258    
Other Study ID Numbers: THU-0887
First Posted: August 11, 2015    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: June 4, 2020
Last Verified: June 2020
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No
Keywords provided by Thomas Huber, Rockefeller University:
artificial sweeteners
obesity
diabetes
metabolic syndrome
aspartame
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Metabolic Diseases
Glucose Metabolism Disorders
Glucose Intolerance
Hyperglycemia