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Some Sugar Substitutes Affect Blood Sugar Levels and Gut Bacteria

Some Sugar Substitutes Affect Blood Sugar Levels and Gut Bacteria


Diet Coke and its sweetener, aspartame, have been on American store shelves for nearly 40 years, and the decades-long debate over the safety of sugar substitutes continues. Since the advent of diet drinks in the 1950s, rumors have swirled today that sweeteners like saccharin, sucralose and stevia do more than satisfy your sweet tooth without the calories of sugar. But it wasn’t easy to establish whether that “more” existed.

In four new studies sugar substituteresearchers found that these non-nutritive sweeteners don’t just move through the body unnoticed. celllinked two sweeteners, saccharin and sucralose, to spikes in glucose levels, and suggested that all four were associated with altered gut microbial profiles. Whether or not it is yet to be seen, diet drink enthusiasts don’t have to throw out diet soda cans just yet.

“This is cool science, very well designed, thought out and executed,” said Dylan Mackay, assistant professor of nutrition and chronic disease at the University of Manitoba. “I always wanted to do these at-home exams and they were able to pull it off in a really interesting way.”

In 2014, researchers microbiome change and Glycemic response in mice After ingestion of sugar substitutes. To see if the same link applies to humans in the new study, scientists selected participants from a potential pool of over 1,375 Exclude people who consume non-caloric sweeteners in their normal daily routine. Some unknowingly did so through protein powders, chewing gum, or low-sugar snacks and desserts.

Researchers divided the final 120 participants into six groups of 20 each. In his four of these groups, the participant consumed his over-the-counter package of one of his four sweeteners at a level below her daily limit of the federal government. A fifth group consumed only the filler used in these packets, a sixth group had no intervention.

An oral glucose tolerance test was also taken during the 2-week period when participants consumed their assigned sweetener or filler. It is used to measure the body’s response to sugar and can be used to diagnose certain types of diabetes. A continuous glucose monitor was used to track blood sugar levels. Researchers also collected oral and stool samples from the participants to analyze the microbial species they hosted. They also measured levels of several metabolites in the blood.

Participants who took either saccharin or sucralose had steeper glycemic responses than any other group. has changed. Along with these changes, the levels of metabolites also changed. For example, participants who took saccharin had increased production of certain amino acids, Echo pattern seen in diabetic patients.

To confirm the association between microbial profiles and glycemic responses, researchers orally administered microbiomes taken from human participants with the highest and lowest blood sugar spikes after sweetener intake to germ-free mice. Mice exposed to microbiomes from human ‘top responders’ showed changes in blood glucose levels that ‘highly mirrored those of the donor individual,’ said the Host-Microbiome Interaction Study Group at the Weizmann Institute of Science. study author Eran Elinahu, principal investigator of He is located in Rehovot, Israel and is Director of the Microbiome and Cancer Department at the German National Cancer Center in Heidelberg.

This part of the study is “a very good part of the paper,” says Mackay. The findings in mice are “probably evidence of an interesting mechanism. [these sweeteners] It’s working. ”

The effect of sweeteners on blood sugar levels is likely to be highly individualized, says Elinav. But the results suggest that these compounds do more than just pass through the body. .

Part of the personalized response has to do with the health of those involved, says Mackay.Findings indicate that “overweight or obesity Or glucose intolerance or type 1 or type 2 diabetes,” he says.

The findings do not settle the question of whether any effects are meaningful for human health, Elinav said, which is an issue for other research to address. Researchers also don’t know if these effects persist beyond two weeks of exposure in the current study, McKay says.

The study involved healthy people who were neither overweight nor obese, and these people represent only a subset of the population who consume food and drink with these sugar substitutes. , as a type 1 diabetic, pretty much everything I use has aspartame in it,” he says. “Because of these results, I have no intention of stopping it and going back to regular glucose or sugar-containing products.”




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