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  • Writer's pictureKatherine Sims

Artificial Sweeteners May Not Be Better Than Sugar

Updated: Oct 15, 2022

Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin are commonly touted as being healthy substitutes for sugars by retaining the sweet taste of sugar without all the calories found in sugar. While considered safe by the FDA, there are increasing questions regarding their possible ability to cause metabolic changes. Researchers recently published a study in Nature journal that demonstrated that artificial sweeteners could cause glucose intolerance in mice and certain humans, by altering the function of certain bacteria in the gut microbiome.

Researchers in another study, also published in Nature journal, identified artificial sweetener-altered microbial metabolic pathways that are linked to heightened risk of metabolic disease, and demonstrate similar artificial sweetener-induced imbalances in gut microbiome and glucose intolerance in healthy humans. Collectively, their results link artificial sweetener consumption, gut microbiome imbalance, and metabolic abnormalities.

So, while artificial sweeteners seem like a sweet alternative to sugar, they may be just as problematic to the gut microbiome as excess sugars.

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