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Artificial sweeteners are toxic to your body

Artificial sweeteners have been approved as safe by the US FDA. But their effects on intestinal bacteria are now found to be toxic, indirectly affecting our health.

Executive Summary

Many artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, sucralose, saccharine, neotame, advantame and acesulfame potassium-k (ace-k), have been approved for use by the US FDA. However, their long–term effects have not been tested fully.

A study found that 6 of the approved artificial sweeteners are toxic to the helpful organisms in our intestines. By damaging them, these sweeteners indirectly cause problems to our bodies.

As per the current research, the artificial sweeteners don’t appear to be fully safe. So better to be cautious in their use.

The full article discusses the trial details and provides some useful weblinks for further reading.

Many artificial sweeteners are approved for consumption by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (US FDA).

The use of artificial sweeteners has been controversial because their long term effects have not yet been fully investigated. There is still no consensus regarding the health consequences of their intake.

Also, they are increasingly linked to various adverse effects such as weight gain (yes, that is right and you thought you should use them in lieu of sugar, to keep your weight down), metabolic disorders, type–2 diabetes, and cancer.

Read here: Artificial sweeteners can make you eat more.

One potential problem area is the effect of artificial sweeteners on the healthy bacteria in our intestines. Do those sweeteners alter the activity of our gut microbiota?

New study

The scientists at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Israel and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore tested some FDA-approved artificial sweeteners. They checked six FDA-approved artificial sweeteners, viz. aspartame, sucralose, saccharine, neotame, advantame and acesulfame potassium-k (ace-k).

The relative toxicity of these sweeteners was tested on the helpful bacteria in the intestines. The results were published in the journal Molecules in Sep 2018.

Results

The study found toxic effects even when the gut bacteria were exposed to low concentrations of the artificial sweeteners.

In simpler English: Artificial sweeteners are toxic to digestive gut bacteria.

The digestive gut bacteria, or Microbiome, is considered the medical discovery of this century, and the science is slowly beginning to understand its implications on many aspects of our health.

Read on this website, a detailed article: Microbiome: The other ‘you’.

Actionable Tip

Minimise consumption of food items containing artificial sweeteners till more information comes about.
As per the current research, they don’t appear to be fully safe, though they have been approved for food use.

First published on: 4th October, 2018

Image credit: Evan-Amos [Public domain]

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