A new study shows that 6 artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, saccharine, neotame, advantame and acesulfame potassium-k) are all toxic to gut bacteria.
For years, aspartame and other artificial sweeteners have been associated with an increase in diabetes and other obesity-related conditions. Marketed as a “healthy alternative” to sugar, because they contain virtually no calories, it is clear that these chemicals do affect the human body in a very negative way. This new research shows that artificial sweeteners are toxic to the gut microbiome, and this may explain why these chemicals cause so much damage.
Artificial sweeteners found in Diet Coke and other soft drinks could damage your gut bacteria, research suggests.
Scientists found six sweeteners – all approved for use in foods and drinks in the US and EU – were toxic to gut microbes.
They included the controversial aspartame, which has been at the centre of critical reports dating back decades. It is used in Diet Coke.
A healthy gut microbiome has been associated with everything from improved hormone regulation, nutrient absorption, digestion and immune system function.
As well as aspartame, the scientists also assessed sucralose, saccharine, neotame, advantame and acesulfame potassium-k.
Ten sports supplements that contain these sweeteners were also analysed for the study, published in the journal Molecules.
The study was led by a team at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
In their laboratory trial, all six of the sweeteners were exposed to bacteria that are commonly found in the human gut.
These bacteria were genetically modified to contain fluorescent compounds that glow when they detect toxins.