01 November 2022

3 minutes to read

Source / Disclosures

Disclosures:
Elinav stated that she is a co-founder of DayTwo and BiomX, receives advisory fees from Hello Inside and Aposense, and serves as a member of cell Scientific advisory board. Please see the study for all relevant financial disclosures by other authors.


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Non-nutritive artificial sweeteners may alter the intestinal and oral microbiome as well as blood sugar levels in healthy adults without cardiac metabolic complications, according to a study published in cell.

“Our work provides evidence for the human microbiome’s response to non-nutritive sweeteners and its ability to impart, in specific configurations, downstream effects on host glucose tolerance,” Eran El-Yanaf, MD, PhDThe professor in the Department of Systems Immunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, and colleagues wrote. As such, and in contrast to the popular notion that nonnutritive sweeteners are metabolically inactive, these data suggest that the human gut microbiome may constitute a ‘response center’ that, in some individuals, enables the transmission of nonnutritive effects on physiology. The human “.

gut bacteria microbiome

Non-nutritive artificial sweeteners may cause changes in the oral and gut microbiome. Source: Adobe Stock

The researchers conducted a multi-arm randomized controlled trial, enrolling 120 adults with good metabolic health (65% of women; median age, 29.95 years). Participants were randomly assigned to a daily supplement of aspartame, saccharin, sucralose or stevia. supplement 5 g of glucose daily; or without attachment. Supplementation was started 7 days after baseline measurements of metabolic and microbial parameters. Supplementation was continued for 14 days, followed by an additional 7 days of measurements. Participants wore a continuous glucose monitor throughout the duration of the experiment. Glucose tolerance tests, anthropometrics, and blood tests were performed. Microbiome samples from stool and oral cavity were collected and analyzed.

Saccharin, sucralose enhances the glycemic response

In an analysis of glucose tolerance tests, participants in the saccharin group had a higher glycemic response compared to those receiving glucose only (s = .042) and those not receiving any supplement (s = .018). Similarly, adults receiving sucralose had a higher glycemic response compared to the glucose group (s = .004) and the no complement group (s = .001). No significant association was found with aspartame or stevia supplementation.

The researchers normalized the additional area under the curve on each participant’s glucose tolerance tests to the mean baseline value. During the first week after randomization, the sucralose group had a higher glycemic response than the glucose and no-supplementation groups, and the saccharin group had a higher glycemic response than the glucose group. The elevated glycemic responses persisted during the second week of supplementation but decreased during follow-up.

Taken together, these findings suggest that short-term consumption of sucralose and saccharin at doses lower than the daily average can affect glycemic responses in healthy individuals.

Features of the microbiome are altered by non-nutritive sweeteners

At baseline, the composition and function of the fecal microbiome were similar among all six groups. After supplementation, all four types of sweetener had an effect on microbiome function, and sucralose and saccharin had an effect on microbiome composition. No significant changes were observed in either the glucose nor the supplement groups.

In an analysis of microbiome properties associated with non-nutritive sweeteners, researchers found 22 metabolites associated with increased glycemic response in the sucralose group that were not associated with changes in glucose or no supplement groups. In the saccharin group, baseline levels of Prevotella cover Uridine monophosphate biosynthesis was positively correlated with the extra area under the glucose curve and increased progressively during exposure, whereas levels of Bacteroides xylanisthe wolf AUC was negatively correlated with glucose and also increased during the experiment. Among the stevia group, two Prevotel Species positively correlated with glucose and AUC decreased during the experiment, while Bacteroides coprophilus, Parabacteroid goldsteinii And the lacnospira Species positively correlated with glycemic response and increased during the experiment. Among those taking aspartame, fragile And the B. acid AUC and . were positively correlated with glucose B. Cuprucola It was negatively correlated. Levels of kynurenine, a metabolite linked to diabetes, increased among the aspartame group.

Changes in most features of the microbiome began as early as the first week of sweetener exposure and returned to baseline after the sweetener exposure ended during follow-up.

“These findings should not be interpreted as advocating the consumption of sugar, which is closely associated with cardiovascular disease and other adverse health effects,” the researchers wrote. “Revealing the molecular mechanisms and clinical consequences of non-nutritive sweetener consumption on the human host and microbiome may improve dietary recommendations in preventing and treating hyperglycemia and its metabolic ramifications.”

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