We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
How do light drinks with sweeteners affect the intestine?
The human intestine contains many different types of bacteria. This system, also known as the gut microbiome, keeps the body healthy. But when it gets out of balance, it can lead to a variety of diseases. In a recent study, researchers have now found that so-called light drinks can harm the bacteria in the intestine.
In their current study, scientists from Nanyang Technology University, Ben-Gurion University and the Volcani Center found that low-calorie light drinks can harm the beneficial bacteria in our intestines. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Molecules".
Six artificial sweeteners were closely examined
In the new study, researchers from Nanyang Technology University in Singapore, Ben-Gurion University and the Volcani Center in Israel worked together to investigate the effects of exposure to Escherichia coli bacteria in the laboratory. In particular, six FDA-approved artificial sweeteners were considered. Although E. coli is often associated with food poisoning, many strains of these bacteria naturally occur in the human intestine and cause no damage there.
Bacteria were modified for the study
The researchers used different types of E. coli bacteria, which were modified under different stress conditions to produce bioluminescent light. For example, one type of these bacteria glows when their DNA is damaged. Another type glows when its cell walls or proteins are damaged. Depending on the type of modified E. coli that lighted up after the scientists added artificial sweeteners, the researchers were able to determine what type of damage was taking place.
Different sweeteners caused different damages
The experts found that each sweetener creates a specific fingerprint that indicates different types of damage. The color pattern was unique for each sweetener. For example, some sweeteners could be more harmful to DNA than proteins. But all of the sweeteners examined harmed the bacteria in some way, explains study author Evgeni Eltzov from the Volcani Center. However, the expert also found that these results do not automatically mean that the substances are toxic to humans. Further research is now needed to investigate the exact effects. Based on the current study, the study author adds that it is probably better not to drink light drinks.
What were the limitations of the study?
There was one important limitation with the new investigation: the study was carried out in test tubes in the laboratory. Nevertheless, the researchers speculate that the results could also apply to humans. However, the results of the laboratory experiment cannot be directly transferred to humans. For example, the levels of artificial sweetener added to the bacteria were higher than what a person would consume in a can of diet soda, critics of the study say. In addition, not all of the sweetener gets into the intestine. In addition, the gut microbiome consists of a complex system of different types of bacteria that interact in different ways. However, studies on animals have always shown that artificial sweeteners worsen the profile of the gut microbiome, so it may be better to stay away from them, the critics also concede. (as)