You may think non-nutritive sweeteners are harmless, but new research suggests otherwise. A team of scientists conducted a groundbreaking study to investigate the effects of popular sugar substitutes on our bodies and microbiomes. Their findings reveal that these seemingly innocent additives actually have the power to mess with our blood sugar levels.
The study revealed that non-nutritive sweeteners can affect the human microbiome and influence glycemic responses. Contrary to previous assumptions, these sugar substitutes, including aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, and stevia sachets, do not have an inert nature. The study’s findings indicate that certain non-nutritive sweeteners have the potential to modify the composition of human microbiomes, resulting in changes to blood sugar levels.
A group of 1,300 people were screened to find those who strictly abstain from using non-nutritive sweeteners in their daily lives. From this group, 120 individuals were selected. These participants were divided into six groups – two control groups and four groups who consumed very little of FDA-approved sweeteners. When the participants consumed these sweeteners, notable changes were observed in the composition and function of their gut microbes, as well as the substances those microbes released into the bloodstream. This indicates that gut microbes are highly responsive to each of these sweeteners in the human body.
The results found that sucralose and saccharin had a significant impact. Surprisingly, these effects were closely linked to changes in the participants’ gut microbes, which also influenced their glycemic responses. To solidify the cause-and-effect relationship, they conducted an innovative experiment by transferring microbial samples from the study participants to germ-free mice.
Discoveries were made that had a profound impact. When they introduced the gut bacteria of people who responded very well to non-nutritive sweeteners into mice, the mice developed significant changes in their blood sugar levels. However, this effect was not seen in mice that received gut bacteria from people who did not respond well to these sweeteners. This suggests that changes in the gut bacteria from consuming non-nutritive sweeteners can have personalized effects on blood sugar levels.
The effects of sweeteners vary from person to person due to the unique composition of our microbiome. It is important to note that non-nutritive sweeteners are not inert to our bodies, contrary to previous beliefs. However, the long-term health implications of these effects are still unknown and require further study.
To view the original scientific study click below:
Personalized microbiome-driven effects of non-nutritive sweeteners on human glucose tolerance