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Artificial sweetener can damage the intestines, research shows




Artificial sweetener can damage the intestines, research shows

Schematic representation of the direct (T1R3-dependent) and indirect (bacteria-dependent) impact of the artificial sweetener neotame on the intestinal epithelial cell. Credit: Limits in nutrition (2024). DOI: 10.3389/fnut.2024.1366409

New research has found that neotame, one of the new generation of artificial sweeteners, can damage the human intestines and cause disease.

The study is the first to show that neotame can cause previously healthy gut bacteria to become diseased and invade the intestinal wall – potentially leading to health problems such as irritable bowel syndrome and sepsis – and can also cause a breakdown of the epithelial barrier, which is part forms part of the intestinal wall. the intestinal wall.

The research, that is published in the news Limits in nutrition and was conducted at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), shows that neotame can damage the intestinal epithelium directly, by causing the death of epithelial cells, and indirectly, by damaging bacteria commonly found in the intestines.

The in vitro study identified a range of pathogenic responses following exposure of E. coli (Escherichia coli) and E. faecalis (Enterococcus faecalis) to neotame, found in beverages, foods and chewing gum, including biofilm formation and increased adhesion to and invasion of cells by diseased bacteria.

Some of the latest artificial sweeteners taste a thousand times sweeter compared to sugar, meaning less is needed to add to food and drinks. Despite the smaller amounts used, neotame’s impact on the epithelium-microbiota relationship has the potential to cause poor gut health, which in turn could lead to metabolic and inflammatory diseases such as irritable bowel disease or insulin resistance.

This new research on neotame builds on previous work by Dr. Havovi Chichger from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), who found that saccharin, sucralose and aspartame, some of the most commonly used artificial sweeteners, could cause similar damage in the gut.

Artificial sweeteners may play a role in weight loss and in people with glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes. This new study, led by Dr. Aparna Shil, from Jahangirnagar University in Bangladesh, and Dr. However, Chichger emphasizes the need for further research into the toxic effects of some of the artificial sweeteners that have recently been developed.

Dr. Chichger, associate professor of biomedical sciences at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and senior author of the study, said: “There is now growing awareness of the health effects of sweeteners such as saccharin, sucralose and aspartame, with our own previous work demonstrating the problems they can cause to the intestinal wall and the damage to the ‘good bacteria’ that form in our intestines.

“This can lead to a range of potential health problems including diarrhoea, intestinal inflammation and even infections such as blood poisoning if the bacteria enter the bloodstream. That’s why it’s important to also study sweeteners that have recently been introduced and our new research shows that neotame causes similar problems, including making gut bacteria sick.

“Understanding the impact of these pathogenic changes that occur in the gut microbiota is critical. Our findings also demonstrate the need to better understand common food additives and the molecular mechanisms underlying potential negative health consequences.”

More information:
Aparna Shil et al., The artificial sweetener neotame negatively regulates the intestinal epithelium directly via T1R3 signaling and indirectly via pathogenic changes in intestinal bacterial modeling, Limits in nutrition (2024). DOI: 10.3389/fnut.2024.1366409

Provided by Anglia Ruskin University

Quote: Artificial sweetener can damage the intestines, study shows (2024, April 24) retrieved April 25, 2024 from

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