Is there an association between artificial sweetener consumption and assisted reproduction outcomes?

Published:November 28, 2017DOI:


      Previous studies have suggested an association between high intake of sweetened beverages and a number of adverse health outcomes. In this cross-sectional study, we investigated the association between daily consumption of sweetened soft drinks or coffee and the outcome of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) treatment. Patients (n = 524) were interviewed by a nutritionist before ICSI treatment, using a food frequency questionnaire. Regression analysis showed that consumption of ≥3 servings of regular soft drinks or any amount of diet soft drinks was associated with oocyte dysmorphism, diminished embryo quality on days 2 and 3 of culture, and a mild effect on blastocyst formation, implantation and pregnancy rate. Consumption of artificially sweetened coffee was negatively associated with embryo quality on days 2 and 3. However, consumption of coffee or soft drinks was not associated with the odds of live birth. Even so, patients should be advised about the potential negative effects of sugar and artificial sweeteners before attempting infertility treatment. This study is limited by the use of a non-validated food frequency questionnaire, lack of information on quantity of sweeteners consumed, and lack of data on glucose levels in blood serum or follicular fluid. Further investigation is warranted.


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      Amanda S Setti obtained her BSc degree in 2005 at Universidade de Santo Amaro, a specialist degree in human assisted reproduction in 2007 at Associação Instituto Sapientiae, and her MSc degree in 2015 at Faculdade de Ciências Médicas da Santa Casa de São Paulo. At present she is a scientific researcher for the Fertility Medical Group and Associação Instituto Sapientiae in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
      Key message
      Women consuming regular or diet soft drinks are at increased risk of oocyte dimorphisms, diminished embryo quality and a mild negative effect on blastocyst formation, implantation and pregnancy rates. Unfavourable embryo development was observed in women consuming artificially sweetened coffee.