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Artificial Sweeteners and Your Microbiome

Artificial sweeteners were once thought of as the silver bullet to combat diabetes and still satisfy your sweet tooth. Now, we understand that this is not true since it actually increases appetite by increasing your sugar threshold even higher.

A new study published in the journal of Molecules studied how six sugar substitutes cause DNA damage in gut bacteria. These sugar substitutes are found in Splenda, diet sodas, and numerous sports supplements.

So what are these six substitutes?

1. Aspartame

2. Sucralose

3. Saccharine

4. Neotame

5. Adyntame

6. Acesulfame potassium-K (Ace-K)

These are the most common sweeteners in soft drinks and food additives.

The researchers of this study, Ariel Kushmaro, Ph.D, and his team, used a bioluminescence technique to illuminate the dangers of the sweeteners to bacteria. If the sweetener caused DNA damage or kills cells, it would cause the bacteria to glow.

Out of all six sweeteners, saccharin caused the most widespread damage. It triggered both genotoxic (DNA damage) and cytotoxic (kill) effects in E.coli. Luckily, not many soft drinks use saccharin nowadays, except Tab.

Both aspartame and Ace-K cause genotoxic (DNA) damage in E.coli.

This is important because E.coli, often implemented in many infectious outbreaks, is still part of our normal gut flora. And when your gut flora is out of balance, your immune system, hormones, and neurotransmitters can become imbalanced as well!

Here's a list of the sugar substitutes I like to use:

1. Dates

2. Honey

3. Beets

4. Coconut sugar

5. Apple Sauce

6. Maple Syrup

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