Chemically produced sweeteners can significantly damage the intestinal flora. This is the result of a new study from British Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. According to the researchers, artificial sweeteners like saccharin, sucralose and aspartame – which are found mostly in diet versions of soft drinks – can encourage gut bacteria to enter gut cells. The focus had talked about it earlier.
Eleven sweeteners are currently approved in the EU, but all have a state-regulated maximum dosage. The reason for this is that the long-term consequences of regular sweetener consumption have not yet been adequately studied. The study published this year appears to show that excessive consumption of artificial sweeteners leads to a pathogenic change in gut bacteria – and in the worst case can cause the destruction of the gut walls.
Sweeteners have a negative effect on the intestinal flora
Sweeteners interact mainly with intestinal bacteria of the type Escherichia coli (E.coli) and Enterococcus faecalis (E.faecalis). “There are many concerns about the consumption of artificial sweeteners, with some studies showing that sweeteners can affect the layer of bacteria that supports the gut, known as the gut microbiome,” said lead author Havovi Chichger.
Artificial sweeteners like saccharin, sucralose and aspartame can interact with healthy bacteria in the gut. This can lead to increased adhesion of gut bacteria. The adhesions form a resistant bacterial film that covers the mucous membrane of the intestine and has a negative effect on the intestinal flora.
According to the study, just two doses of known soft drinks could be enough to significantly increase the pathogenicity of E. coli and E. faecalis. Pathogenicity is understood as the basic ability of infectious substances to cause disease in certain organisms.