Life & Style Weekend - - YOU - – The Sun

If you’ve switched to Diet Coke in a bid to cut down on sugar, you might want to re-eval­u­ate just how healthy your choices are. Sci­en­tists now claim that sweeteners found in Diet Coke and other soft drinks could dam­age your gut bac­te­ria. Ac­cord­ing to sci­en­tists from uni­ver­si­ties in Is­rael and Sin­ga­pore, six com­mon ar­ti­fi­cial sweeteners – as­par­tame, su­cralose, sac­cha­rin, neo­tame, ad­van­tame and ace­sul­fame potas­sium (Ace K) – have all been found to be toxic to gut bac­te­ria. More and more stud­ies are re­al­is­ing the im­por­tance of gut bac­te­ria to a per­son’s over­all health – with bad bac­te­ria linked to a range of diseases from obe­sity to bowel diseases, even Alzheimer’s. The study, pub­lished in Mol­e­cules, looked at the rel­a­tive tox­i­c­ity of the sweeteners and 10 sports sup­ple­ments con­tain­ing them. It found the bac­te­ria in the di­ges­tive sys­tem be­came toxic when exposed to tiny con­cen­tra­tions of the sweeteners. In a lab trial, the sweeteners were each exposed to bac­te­ria that are com­monly found in the gut. These bac­te­ria were ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied to con­tain flu­o­res­cent com­pounds that glowed when they de­tected tox­ins. The sci­en­tists found tox­ins were re­leased when gut bac­te­ria were exposed to each ar­ti­fi­cial sweet­ener, and it only took one mg/ml of the ar­ti­fi­cial sweeteners to turn the bac­te­ria toxic. A can of Diet Coke con­tains about 180mg of as­par­tame. And that’s led sci­en­tists to con­clude : “This is fur­ther ev­i­dence that con­sump­tion of ar­ti­fi­cial sweeteners ad­versely af­fects gut mi­cro­bial ac­tiv­ity which can cause a wide range of health is­sues”. Good gut health re­lies on a healthy gut mi­cro­biome, which has been as­so­ci­ated with ev­ery­thing from di­ges­tion and nu­tri­ent ab­sorp­tion to im­mune sys­tem func­tion. It’s not just sugar-free drinks that con­tain these chem­i­cals, ei­ther. Ar­ti­fi­cial sweeteners are used in loads of food prod­ucts and drinks that boast re­duced sugar con­tent – and the study warns that many of us con­sume them with­out even re­al­is­ing. It’s not just our im­me­di­ate health that is po­ten­tially at risk, ei­ther. These sweet chem­i­cals have also been iden­ti­fied as en­vi­ron­men­tal pol­lu­tants that are in­creas­ingly be­ing found in drink­ing and sur­face wa­ter.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.