Posted on Oct 01, 2018, 10 p.m.
Artificial sweeteners have been found to have toxic effects on gut microbes in a collaborative study investigating relative toxicity of aspartame, sucralose, neotame, saccharine, acesulfame potassium-k, advantame, and sport supplements containing these artificial sweeteners with findings indicating that bacteria found in the digestive system became toxic when exposed to 6 sweeteners even at low concentrations.
Artificial sweeteners and sport supplements which are FDA approved were found to be toxic to digestive gut microbes even at low concentration levels as low as 1 mg/ml, according to researchers from Ben-Gurion University and Nanyang Technological University, as published in Molecules.
E.coli bacteria was modified to luminesce in the presence of toxicants to act as sensing models representative of the complex microbial system. Researchers suggest that this is even further evidence that consumption of artificial sweeteners will adversely affect gut microbial activity which can cause a wide range of health issues. Findings may help understandings of the relative toxicity of artificial sweeteners and potential negative effects on gut microbial community and the environment.
Many food products and soft drinks contain these artificial sweeteners which are used in items with reduced sugar content. Many people consume these added sweeteners without even knowing it. Further negative news in regards to artificial sweeteners is that they have also been identified as emerging environmental pollutants being found in drinking and surface waters, as well as groundwater aquifers; potentially the tested bioluminescent bacterial panel could be used for detecting artificial sweeteners in the environment.
Materials provided by American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
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Dorin Harpaz, Loo Yeo, Francesca Cecchini, Trish Koon, Ariel Kushmaro, Alfred Tok, Robert Marks, Evgeni Eltzov. Measuring Artificial Sweeteners Toxicity Using a Bioluminescent Bacterial Panel. Molecules, 2018; 23 (10): 2454 DOI: 10.3390/molecules23102454