Published: Fri, October 05, 2018
Medical | By

Warning that artificial sweeteners in Diet Coke ‘are toxic to gut bacteria’

Warning that artificial sweeteners in Diet Coke ‘are toxic to gut bacteria’

These include aspartame, which is used in Diet Coke, plus sucralose, saccharine, neotame, advantame and acesulfame potassium-k.

"The results of this study might help in understanding the relative toxicity of artificial sweeteners and the potential of negative effects on the gut microbial community".

Sweeteners are used in an array of products, with researchers concerned people may unknowingly be consuming the harmful ingredient.

And while all of the tested sweeteners are deemed "safe for consumption" by the Food and Drug Administration, the results of this study suggest further testing is necessary - especially since these sweeteners are in so many products that most individuals consume them without their knowledge. They also tested 10 popular sports supplements that use these artificial sweeteners.

"From our study, we believe that low-calorie sweeteners promote additional fat formation by allowing more glucose to enter the cells, and promotes inflammation, which may be more detrimental in obese individuals", said Dr. Sabyasachi Sen, an Associate Professor of Medicine and Endocrinology at George Washington University, and the study's lead researcher.

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Kushmaro's latest research on artificial sweeteners was published in the journal Molecules last week. The bacteria in the digestive system became toxic when exposed to concentrations of only one milligram per milliliter of these substances.

However, a key finding was the short-term nature of this study, as the researchers did point out that artificial sweeteners do affect body weight and energy levels in the long-term.

At present, there is no consensus regarding the health consequences of artificial sweeteners, although consuming them has been linked to an array of other health problems including cancer, weight gain, metabolic disorders, migraines, type-2 diabetes, vascular events, preterm delivery, kidney function disorders, liver antioxidant system, hepatotoxicity and immune system disruptions. They then exposed the bacteria to the artificial sweeteners, causing the toxic response.

It's not just our immediate health that is potentially at risk either.

But hey, how else are you going to make sure your coffee tastes good in the morning?

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