New study shows artificial sweetener Erythritol may cause higher risk of stoke, heart attacks

A new study shows an artificial sweetener linked to patients having a higher risk of stroke, heart attacks and in some cases, death.

Many of us who eat fruits or drink wine has probably had Erythritol before and did not realize it.

"This sweetener called Erythritol is actually found in some foods naturally, like some fruits and vegetables as well as beer and wine," said Dr. Wendy Miller.

But Erythritol is also used as a no-calorie sweetener. This is true, particularly in food items meant for the Keto diet,  Miller added. Another example is that most types of Stevia also contain it.

A recent study about this artificial sweetener is causing many doctors to have conversations about its use, with some of their patients.

"(It) did show that potentially this sweetener is linked to a higher risk of heart attacks, stroke and even death," she said.

The study revealed that the sugar substitute can potentially have an impact on a person’s platelets.

"They looked at the effect of Erythritol on platelets, so platelets are the blood cells that cause clotting and that’s what often causes a heart attack or stroke," she said. "What they found was that Erythritol actually promoted blood clots."

If a person does not have many high-risk factors or they don’t have a lot of plaque in their arteries, a small blood clot may not cause a heart attack or stroke.

"But for someone else that has plaque in arteries, a blood clot might be enough to cause an obstruction of that artery - and lead to a heart attack," Miller said.

Doctors made it clear that more research is needed to know the full impact of this sweetener, but if you have risk factors such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or carry excess weight - you may want to find other options. There are natural options like honey which can be used as a sweetener.

"But for patients who are at high risk it’s probably reasonable to either greatly limit or avoid products sweetened with this," she said.