‘The most difficult part of a diet isn’t watching what you eat. It’s watching what other people eat!’
- Artificial sweeteners may cause the very problem that dieters are trying to avoid – obesity and diabetes. A study in Nature (September 17) showed that a diet high in saccharin resulted in impaired glucose metabolism in human volunteers and mice.
- Saccharin is found in Sweet’N Low, jam, salad dressing, and many low-calorie foods. The effect of saccharin on humans and mice was consistent. Feeding a diet high in saccharin, whether the subject was obese or skinny resulted in higher blood glucose levels. Those who were fed glucose based diets had normal metabolism.
- What was discovered was that the microbes of the gut were altered by saccharin and that seems to enable bacteria that feed on saccharin to thrive. These bacteria somehow cause glucose intolerance (pre-diabetes). Antibiotics that are given to these individuals to kill the gut bacteria can reverse these changes in sugar metabolism, suggesting that the bacteria were the clear cause of the problem.
- Thus it seems that saccharine and even other artificial sweeteners (aspartame and sucralose for example) induce changes in our natural gut bacteria. These changes predispose us to glucose intolerance and even diabetes!It is possible that heavy antibiotic use in our society results in some people being more sensitive to the effects of saccharin. Obesity and diabetes may, in part, be linked to the bacteria in our gut!
- Bottom line: using artificial sweeteners is clearly not as healthful as we think!!