Controversial research suggests artificial sweeteners may raise blood sugar levels by promoting growth of certain gut bacteria.
http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014 ... lood-sugar
In the first of a series of experiments, the Israeli group found that mice fed on three artificial sweeteners – saccharin, aspartame and sucralose – developed high blood sugar levels. But when the mice were given antibiotics to kill off their gut microbes, the ill effects disappeared.
The scientists then focused on saccharin. They transferred gut microbes from mice fed on the sweetener to different mice that had no gut bacteria of their own. Soon after, the recipient mice developed high blood sugar levels themselves. Genetic analyses of the gut microbes from mice fed on saccharin found that as a group they behaved differently, breaking down more carbohydrate in the diet than normal.
The scientists ran tests on 400 people and found that those who consumed the most artificial sweeteners had different gut microbes than others, and on average were heavier and more glucose intolerant.
In their final set of experiments, the scientists gave seven people the maximum allowed daily dose of saccharin for a week. Each dose was enough to sweeten around 40 cans of diet cola. At the end of the week, four in seven had high blood sugar levels and their gut microbes mirrored the changes seen in mice fed on the additives.
To round off the study, the researchers transferred bugs from the people who developed high blood sugar after massive doses of artificial sweeteners into mice that had no gut bugs of their own. These mice went on to develop high blood sugar too.