Artificial Sweeteners and Gut Bacteria
If you have joined the ranks of discarding cane sugar for the “healthier alternative replacement”; please read this page carefully. You may wish to reconsider your choices.
There is increasing controversy regarding the potential ability of artificial sweeteners to promote metabolic derangements in some humans.
The evidence is growing that non-nutritive sweeteners contribute to metabolic dysfunction and can affect body weight, glucose tolerance, appetite, and taste sensitivity and have unanticipated effects on human health.
Several non-nutritive sweeteners have also been shown to have major impacts on bacterial growth both in vitro and in vivo.
Although many of these non-nutritive sweeteners are permitted in our consumer food chain; only recently, due the interest in gut microbiomes, have researchers examined and questioned unintended consequences.
Host genetics, diet, immune status, underlying diseases, and medical treatments all are features of patient history that influence human microbial composition and could determine individual responses to non-nutritive sweeteners consumption.
We do not know whether NAS select against certain microbes by inhibiting their function, allowing their unaffected competitors to flourish, or whether they are direct stimulants of other organisms, or both.
Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota:
Non-caloric artificial sweeteners (NAS) are among the most widely used food additives worldwide, regularly consumed by lean and obese individuals alike. NAS consumption is considered safe and beneficial owing to their low caloric content, yet supporting scientific data remain sparse and controversial. Here we demonstrate that consumption of commonly used NAS formulations drives the development of glucose intolerance through induction of compositional and functional alterations to the intestinal microbiota.
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