An Israeli scientist says artificial sweeteners should no longer be considered safe because peer-reviewed research published in his lab shows they can actually increase the body’s sugar levels.
Immunologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Prof. Eran Elinav, told the Times of Israel that “until it is proven that his team’s concerns are unfounded, we should not assume they are safe.”
According to the study published in the journal Cell, saccharin and sucralose consumption impairs healthy adults’ ability to clear glucose from their bodies.
It’s long-awaited human research by an Israeli team that sounded alarm bells about artificial sweeteners over a study in rodents eight years ago.
Scientists argued at the time that sugar substitutes were introduced to satisfy sweet toothers with less damage to sugar levels, but they “may have directly contributed to the escalation of the very epidemic they were themselves battling.” intended.”
Sign up for Tech Israel Daily and never miss Israel’s top tech stories
By registering you agree to the terms
Now they have validated their rodent study by extensively monitoring dozens of adults who commonly consume artificial sweeteners to avoid them.
“Our testing showed that non-nutritive sweeteners can interfere with glucose responses by altering our microbiome,” Elinav said.
Example image: Gut bacteria that help regulate intestinal digestion (iStock via Getty Images)
Elinav said this severely challenges the common belief that sweeteners have a benign effect of sweeteners without any health costs.
The research was carried out by Dr. Jotham Swayze, Elenaw’s former graduate student and now principal investigator at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, along with Yotam Cohen, a graduate student in Elinav’s lab, and Weismann’s Prof. Aaron Segal.
The scientists experimented with the four most common sweeteners: saccharin, sucralose, aspartame and stevia. The first two significantly reduced the glucose response, but all four caused changes in the gut bacteria, the microbiome.
An example illustrating glucose levels between test participants who took different sweeteners and those who were part of the control groups. Control groups are labeled “Control” and “Vehicle”. (courtesy Weisman Institute of Science)
Alinav said, “We found that the gut microbiome alters its structure and function in response to consumption of all four sweeteners, meaning they are not inert to the human body.”
These changes were not seen in other volunteers who were in the control groups and therefore did not consume sweeteners.
Aran Alinav (courtesy of Eran Alinav)
In the experiment, scientists transplanted some people’s droppings into rodents that didn’t have their own gut bacteria. They found that the mice whose glucose tolerance was most affected by sweeteners also had a lower ability to excrete glucose in their faeces.
They say this reinforces their theory that sweetness affects the microbiome and that the altered microbiome can affect glucose tolerance – so significantly, in fact, that it has this effect even when transplanted into another species. .
“Our current results strongly suggest that artificial sweeteners are not inert to the human body or gut microbiome, as previously thought, and may potentially produce changes in humans, potentially different people’s unique gut.” in a highly individualized way that emerges from micropopulations,” said Elinav.
“In my opinion as a physician, having established that non-nutritional sweeteners are not inert to the human body, the burden of evidence to demonstrate or disprove their potential effects on human health encourages their use. Donors have a responsibility and we should not assume they are safe until proven otherwise. Until then, caution is advised,” he said.
It’s not (just) about you.
Endorsement of The Times of Israel is not a transaction for any online service such as B. Subscribe to Netflix. The ToI community is for people like you who care a commonsEnsuring that balanced, responsible reporting on Israel is available to millions of people around the world, free of charge.
Sure, we’ll remove all ads from your page and you’ll unlock access to great community content. But your support goes even deeper: the pride of being part of it. something that really matters,
Join the Times of Israel Community Join Our Community Already a member? Sign in to stop playing
You are an engaged reader
We are very pleased that you are reading X Times of Israel article last month.
That’s why we launched The Times of Israel ten years ago – to provide discerning readers like you with essential coverage of Israel and the Jewish world.
So now we have a request. Unlike other news agencies, we have not introduced a paywall. However, as our journalism is expensive, we invite readers for whom The Times of Israel has become important to join us to help Times of the Israeli Community
For just $6 a month, you can support our quality journalism while enjoying The Times of Israel ad-freesimultaneous access exclusive content Available only to members of the Times of Israel community.
David Horowitz, founding editor of the Times of Israel
JOIN OUR COMMUNITY JOIN OUR COMMUNITY Already a member? Sign in to stop playing