Since the late 1800s non-nutritive sweeteners have promised to deliver all the sweetness of sugar with none of the calories. They have long been believed to have no effect on the human body.
In a study from the Weizmann Institute of Science, scientists found that these sugar substitutes are not inert, and, in fact, some can alter people’s microbiomes in a way that can change their blood sugar levels.
The team carefully screened over 1,300 people for those who strictly avoid non-nutritive sweeteners in their day-to-day lives and identified a group of 120 individuals.
These participants were broken into six groups: two controls and four who ingested well below the FDA daily allowances of either aspartame, saccharin, stevia, or sucralose.
In people consuming the non-nutritive sweeteners, the team found very distinct changes in the composition and function of gut microbes, and the molecules they secret into the peripheral blood.
This seemed to suggest that gut microbes in the human body are rather responsive to each of these sweeteners.
When they looked at consumers of non-nutritive sweeteners as groups, we found that two of the non-nutritive sweeteners, saccharin and sucralose, strongly impacted glucose tolerance in healthy adults.
The team also found that the microbiome changes in response to consumption of non-nutritive sweeteners may, at times, induce glycemic changes in consumers in a highly personalized manner.
The team says that he expects the effects of the sweeteners will vary from person to person because of the incredibly unique composition of our microbiome.
People need to raise awareness of the fact that non-nutritive sweeteners are not inert to the human body as we originally believed.
If you care about blood sugar, please read studies about how to lower morning high blood sugar fast with no medicines, and what is the normal blood sugar for people with diabetes.
The study was conducted by Eran Elinav et al and published in the journal Cell.
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