April 20, 2024

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Artificial sweeteners may turn normal intestinal flora into pathogenic bacteria

International Journal of Molecular Sciences: Artificial sweeteners may turn the body’s normal intestinal flora into pathogenic bacteria and cause human diseases!



Artificial sweeteners may turn the body’s normal intestinal flora into pathogenic bacteria and cause human diseases.  Artificial sweeteners (AS, Artificial sweeteners) are a synthetic sugar substitute commonly consumed by humans in the diet.

Recent studies have shown that artificial sweeteners are incompatible with There is a great correlation between metabolic disorders and intestinal flora disorders and other health risks. Although many studies have confirmed this phenomenon, how artificial sweeteners affect the organism’s symbiotic flora and cause diseases, currently researchers It’s not clear.

Recently, a research report entitled “Artificial Sweeteners Negatively Regulate Pathogenic Characteristics of Two Model Gut Bacteria, E. coli and E. faecalis” was published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, from Anglia Ruskin Scientists from universities and other institutions have discovered through research that common artificial sweeteners may induce the pathology of the previously healthy intestinal flora of the body and invade the intestinal wall, thereby inducing more serious health problems.

Artificial sweeteners may turn normal intestinal flora into pathogenic bacteria

Image source: https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/22/10/5228

In the article, researchers revealed for the first time the pathogenic effects of some of the most widely used artificial sweeteners (saccharin, sucralose and aspartame) on two types of intestinal flora (E. coli and Enterococcus faecalis) . Previous research results have shown that artificial sweeteners may change the type and number of bacteria in the intestines, but the results of this article point out that artificial sweeteners may make bacteria more pathogenic, and these pathogenic bacteria will adsorb and invade It also kills Caco-2 cells, which are special epithelial cells located on the intestinal wall.

As we all know, bacteria like Enterococcus faecalis that can pass through the intestinal wall can enter the bloodstream and accumulate in the lymph nodes, liver and spleen, causing a series of infections including sepsis. At a concentration equivalent to two cans of dietary soft drinks, all three artificial sweeteners can significantly increase the adsorption capacity of E. coli and Enterococcus faecalis on intestinal Caco-2 cells, and can increase the production of biofilm to varying degrees. Bacteria growing in biofilms are less sensitive to antibiotic therapy, and are more likely to secrete toxins and express virulence factors, thereby inducing human diseases.

Artificial sweeteners may turn normal intestinal flora into pathogenic bacteria

Artificial sweeteners may negatively regulate the pathogenic properties of the two modes of intestinal flora.

Image source: Aparna Shil, et al. International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2021). DOI:10.3390/ijms22105228

In addition, all three artificial sweeteners promote the invasion of pathogenic intestinal bacteria into Caco cells in the intestinal wall, but saccharin does not seem to have a significant effect on the invasion of E. coli. Researcher Dr. Havovi Chichger said that there are currently many concerns about the intake of artificial sweeteners; and some studies have shown that sweeteners affect the bacterial layer that supports intestinal tissues, that is, the intestinal flora. This study reveals for the first time that some of the most common sweeteners in food and beverages, such as saccharin, sucralose and aspartame, may turn normal and healthy intestinal flora into pathogenic bacteria; these pathogenic Changes include the formation of biofilms and increased levels of bacterial adhesion and invasiveness to human intestinal cells.

Researchers believe that these changes may cause our own intestinal flora to invade and damage the intestinal tissues, thereby inducing infections, sepsis and multiple organ failure; we all know that excessive intake of carbohydrates can cause many diseases such as obesity and diabetes. This is the main factor of human metabolic diseases. Therefore, we must increase our understanding of sweeteners and sugars to better help improve human health. In summary, the results of this article show that due to the increasing intake of artificial sweeteners in daily diets, it is particularly meaningful to understand the molecular mechanism of this food additive affecting the intestinal flora and how to improve these destructive effects. It’s important.


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