Calorie-Free Sweeteners Affect Microbiome and Glycemic Response

Gut bacteria , gut flora, microbiome. Bacteria inside the small intestine, concept, representation. 3D illustration.

Gut bacteria, gut flora, microbiome. Bacteria in the small intestine, concept, representation. 3D illustration. Gut bacteria, gut flora, microbiome. Bacteria in the small intestine, concept, representation. 3D illustration.

Sugar alternatives that provide sweetness without the calories may alter gut microbes and affect a person’s metabolic response to glucose, study results suggest.

Sucralose and saccharin reduced the glycemic response of healthy adults, according to the study in the journal Cell.

The calorie-free sweeteners affected different people in different ways, and further studies in mice revealed that glucose intolerance was caused by their individual impact on the microbiome.

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The microbiome is the microorganisms that live in an environment such as a person’s body, and can include fungi, bacteria, and viruses.

“Our trial has shown that non-nutritive sweeteners can reduce the glucose response by altering our microbiome, and they do this in a very personal way, that is, by affecting each person in a unique way,” said study researcher Eran Elinav, a researcher. professor of systems immunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, om Inside Precision Medicine.

“In fact, this variability was to be expected, due to the unique makeup of each person’s microbiome.”

One of the most common dietary strategies to combat obesity and hyperglycemia is to replace sugar with non-nutritive sweeteners such as saccharin, sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame-K and stevia.

While the effect of this strategy remains uncertain, the researchers conducted a multi-arm, randomized controlled trial in 120 adults who strictly avoided non-nutritive sweeteners in their daily lives.

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The participants were divided into six groups and either received sachets of saccharin, sucralose, aspartame, and stevia for 2 weeks at doses below the acceptable daily intake or were assigned to control groups receiving the sachet-containing vehicle glucose or no supplement .

Each non-nutritive sweetener clearly changed the stool and oral microbiome and plasma metabolome, which is the study of small metabolite molecules.

Saccharin and sucralose significantly reduced glycemic responses, the study found.

The team then used fecal transplantation to transfer microbial samples from trial volunteers to germ-free mice raised in sterile conditions and lacking a pre-existing microbiome.

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When the mice received microbiome transfers from the top responders in the trial who consumed their respective non-nutritive sweeteners, the mice developed glycemic changes that significantly mirrored those of the donor human.

In contrast, transfers from the lower responders in the study usually did not cause these glycemic responses.

Elinav told Inside Precision Medicine“The health implications of the changes that non-nutritive sweeteners can cause in humans have yet to be determined and deserve new, long-term studies.

“In the meantime, we emphasize that our findings in no way imply that sugar consumption, which has been shown in many studies to be harmful to human health, is superior to non-nutritive sweeteners.”

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