WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A new research adds more evidence to the notion that artificial sweeteners could be hazardous to human health.
- FDA doesn’t have a solid definition for the word “natural”, so even having the words “natural sweeteners” stamped on foods are not a guarantee that artificial ingredients weren’t used.
- Even previous studies have shown that artificial sweeteners can have a negative effect on health, causing obesity and diabetes in rodents.
It’s not fresh news that artificial sweeteners aren’t exactly good for your health. In fact, more evidence has been found proving the fact in a recent study.
Ariel Kushmaro, a professor of Ben-Gurion University, authored the study and worked with his colleagues and other scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore to look into the effects of FDA-approved artificial sweeteners could have on E. coli bacteria.
Kushmaro told Newsweek, “Artificial sweeteners have become increasingly controversial due to their questionable influence on consumers’ health. They are found in most foods, and many consume this added ingredient without their knowledge.”
Business Insider said that though a lot of popular foods are considered healthy, many still have artificial sweeteners. Wheat bread, fruit juice, yogurt, the list goes on. Even when you have the label “natural sweeteners”, you just can’t be sure if artificial sweeteners are involved or not because the FDA doesn’t have a legal definition for “natural.” Kushmaro advised that people should be more wary of their consumption of artificial sweeteners.
Kushmaro’s study involved analyzing six different artificial sweeteners: acesulfame, advantame, aspartame, neotame, potassium-k, saccharine and sucralose, as well as 10 sports supplements that have these sweeteners listed as one of their ingredients.
The research, which was published in Molecules on September 25, showed that the sweeteners could have toxic effects on E. coli bacteria. These bacteria are found in the gut and serve as a model for other gut bacteria.
Kushmaro said, “The indigenous gastrointestinal tract microflora has profound effects on the anatomical, physiological and immunological development of the host.”
When exposed to toxins, the E. coli the scientists used luminesced. Among all the artificial sweeteners they tested, sucralose seemed to cause the most significant reaction, only taking 1 milligram to affect the strain of E. coli.
This reiterates the findings of a study in Nature, which was published back in 2014, showing how sweeteners can cause glucose intolerance. It was also revealed that artificial sweeteners could cause health problems like diabetes and obesity in mice.