Brian R. Hoffmann, PhD
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Physiology
- Max McGee National Research Center"
PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, 2010
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, 2014
The overall goal of my laboratory is focused on determining mechanistic factors that underlie a variety of type 1 (T1D) and type 2 diabetes (T2D)-driven systemic health problems in relation to high sugar and artificial sweetener diets.
T1D and T2D have become a worldwide epidemic and the International Diabetes Federation estimates the global prevalence of diabetes to be at nearly 400 million people. This figure is expected to rise to over 650 million people, approximately 9% of the world population, by the year 2040. This drastic increase in prevalence of the disease has caused an increased awareness of both genetic and environmental factors that are contributing to the problem. Numerous environmental factors, such as diet, have been linked to the increased prevalence of metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. The negative implications of consuming high amounts of dietary sugar on overall health have long been linked to these systemic health problems. As these concerns have grown, there has been a drastic increase in the refined carbohydrates and non-caloric artificial sweeteners introduced into diets as an alternative to common sugar additives; however, supporting scientific data regarding the safety of these food additives is limited and controversial. Studies suggest that chronic consumption of these non-caloric substitutes disrupt homeostatic processes that regulate glucose and cause metabolic derangements that contribute to metabolic syndrome, obesity, and diabetes. Recent evidence also suggests that artificial sweeteners cause gut microbiome dysbiosis, leading to glucose intolerance and metabolic disruption.
Our laboratory aims to develop a better understanding of the dietary impact that varying types of sugar and common non-caloric artificial sweeteners have on both healthy and diabetic models. Ultimately, the knowledge gained from these studies will allow consumers to make a more informed decision for their nutritional considerations. Additionally, outcomes of the studies will have the potential to inform and revise care guidelines that would lead to improved disease management among genetically susceptible populations with diabetes; particularly youth with T1D.