Non-nutritive sweeteners alter microbiome function and glucose control, research finds

Dr. Shawn Talbott (Ph.D., CNS, LDN, FACSM, FACN, FAIS) has gone from triathlon struggler to gut-brain guru! With a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry, he's on a mission to boost everyday human performance through the power of natural solutions and the gut-brain axis.

Researchers are challenging the long-held belief that non-nutritive sugar substitutes have no impact on humans. They discovered that some
— Read on

Lots of people are freaking out about this new study where scientists showed that HIGH levels of SOME “non-nutritive” sweeteners can alter the gut microbiome and lead to problems with blood sugar control.

No need to freak out if you follow a prudent approach…

I’ve talked about the potential impact of both artificial sweeteners (sucralose, aspartame, ACE-K, saccharin, etc) and natural sweeteners (stevia, xylitol, monk fruit, allulose, etc) on my YouTube channel =

This new study fed very high doses (equivalent to 10-20 “packs”) of sucralose, saccharin, aspartame, and stevia) to volunteers who had never consumed any of these previously (they also received sugar as a control).

First thing – it’s not typical for most people to have this super-high intake of any type of sweeteners – and if you’re doing that, you need to stop (duh!) because your diet is probably out of whack in a lot of ways besides just drinking a dozen Diet Cokes every day?

Next – the gut microbiome (which resides primarily in the lower part of the digestive tract; the large intestine/colon), does not really “see” sweeteners (including sugar) unless they are consumed in very large doses (such as drinking soda or eating lots of processed foods). This is because the sweetener is typically fully-absorbed in the small intestine and never reaches the microbiome in the large intestine (but sucralose is different because it is not absorbed – and high intakes of other sweeteners cause other problems after absorption).

Finally – while this study found microbiome/blood sugar problems for sucralose and saccharin – but not for aspartame and stevia – the REAL point of the study should be that, “anything you eat has the potential to impact your microbiome” (and thus everything else) – including your metabolism and mood and every aspect of health.

At Amare, we use a range of natural sweeteners in some of our products (different strengths of stevia leaf, birch extracts for xylitol, monk fruit, and others – and we have a new product launching in October that is sweetened with allulose that is naturally found in figs, grapes, and raisins). Those products are also naturally-flavored and additionally deliver a wide range of phytonutrients, prebiotic fibers, probiotic bacteria, and many other beneficial nutrients – so you really need to consider the entire nutritional “matrix” to understand what it might be doing to you and your microbiome.

Our studies show that the right blends of the right natural nutrients can deliver meaningful benefits for both mental wellness and physical health and performance.

About the Author

Exercise physiologist (MS, UMass Amherst) and Nutritional Biochemist (PhD, Rutgers) who studies how lifestyle influences our biochemistry, psychology and behavior - which kind of makes me a "Psycho-Nutritionist"?!?!

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Solve the 3 Main Sleep Problems
and Improve Your Sleep Quality
without Drugs or Synthetic Melatonin