Study shows dangers of artificial sweeteners on gut microbiota

A new study sheds light on the real dangers of artificial sweeteners on human health, showing the significant impact these substances may have on the gut microbiota. Artificial sweeteners can actually affect healthy gut bacteria. The latter, made sick, can then invade the intestinal wall, potentially causing serious health problems.

This new study is the first to show the pathogenic effects of the most widely used artificial sweeteners, such as saccharin, sucralose and aspartame, on two types of gut bacteria, E. coli.Escherichia coli) and E. Fecalis (Enterococcus faecalis) details were published in the journal International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

Previous studies have shown that artificial sweeteners can alter the number and type of bacteria in the gut, but this new molecular research led by researchers at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) has shown that sweeteners can also make bacteria pathogenic. . This suggests that these pathogenic bacteria can bind to, invade and kill Caco-2 cells, the important epithelial cells that line the lining of the intestine.

Increased resistance to antibiotics

like bacteria E. Mal, which lines the intestinal wall, can move into the bloodstream and accumulate in the lymph nodes, liver, and spleen, causing a number of infections, including sepsis.

This new study found that at a concentration equivalent to two cans of diet soda, three artificial sweeteners were noted to significantly increase the adhesion of .e coli and d’E. Mal to intestinal Caco-2 cells, and partly increased bacterial biofilm formation.

Bacteria that develop in biofilms are less sensitive to treatments (antibiotics) and are more likely to secrete toxins and express virulence factors, which are molecules that can cause various diseases. Furthermore, all three sweeteners tested induced pathogenic gut bacteria to invade Caco-2 cells located on the gut wall, with the exception of saccharin, which had no significant effect on invasion. e coli.

« There are many concerns about the consumption of artificial sweeteners, with some studies suggesting that sweeteners may affect the bacterial layer that supports the gut, known as the gut microbiota. Dr Havovi Chichgar, lead author of the study and lecturer in Biomedical Sciences at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU).

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« These changes can cause our own gut bacteria to invade and damage our gut, leading to infection, sepsis, or even multiple organ failure. We know that high sugar intake is a major factor in the development of diseases such as obesity and diabetes. It is therefore important that we deepen our knowledge of sweeteners in relation to dietary sugars in order to better understand their impact on our health. », he concluded.

Source: International Journal of Molecular Sciences

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