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New study shows artificial sweetener can harm gut health

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 23 days ago

A recent study published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition has found that the artificial sweetener neotame, commonly used in a variety of processed foods, may cause significant damage to the gut. The research, conducted by Dr. Havovi Chichger from Anglia Ruskin University in the U.K, indicates that even small doses of neotame can lead to inflammation, insulin resistance, and potentially serious blood infections.

Neotame, a derivative of aspartame, was approved by the FDA for use in most foodstuffs in 2002. However, the study revealed that the sweetener can harm the digestive tract by causing cell death in the lining of the gut and disrupting the balance of "good" bacteria in the gut microbiome, which are essential for digestion.

The researchers tested neotame on various species of bacteria typically found in the gut microbiome and found that it caused the bacteria to behave abnormally. When combined with gut cells in a dish, neotame made the bacteria toxic to the cells, leading to potential health issues such as diarrhea, intestinal inflammation, and infections like septicaemia if the bacteria were to enter the bloodstream.

While aspartame, an older sibling of neotame, has been controversial in the past for its potential carcinogenic effects, regulatory organizations generally agree that there is no conclusive evidence linking aspartame to cancer at doses typically consumed by humans. However, the focus of the new study is on the negative impacts that sweeteners like neotame may have on gut health.

Dr. Chichger, the senior author of the study, emphasizes the importance of further research into common food additives and the molecular mechanisms underlying their potential negative health impacts. This study highlights the need for a better understanding of the health effects of artificial sweeteners, especially those that have been introduced more recently like neotame.

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