New research has found that common artificial sweeteners can cause diseases of previously healthy intestinal bacteria and invade the intestinal wall, which can lead to serious health problems.
The study, published in International Journal of Molecular Sciences, is the first to show the pathogenic effects of some of the most widely used artificial sweeteners — saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame — in two types of intestinal bacteria, E. coli (Escherichia coli) and E. faecalis (Enterococcus faecalis).
Previous studies have shown that artificial sweeteners can change the number and type of bacteria in the gut, but this new molecular research, led by academics at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), has shown that sweeteners can also cause bacteria are pathogenic. He found these pathogenic bacteria they can bind, invade, and kill Caco-2 cells, which they are epithelial cells which cover the intestinal wall.
Bacteria such as E. faecalis are known to cross the intestinal wall it can enter the bloodstream and congregate in the lymph nodes, liver and spleen, causing various infections, including sepsis.
This new study found that at a concentration equivalent to two cans of diet-refreshing drink, the three artificial sweeteners significantly increased the adhesion of E. coli and E. faecalis to intestinal Caco-2 cells and increased differentially the formation of biofilms.
Bacteria that grow in biofilms are less sensitive to antimicrobial resistance treatment and are more likely to secrete toxins and express virulence factors, which are molecules that can cause disease.
In addition, the three sweeteners caused pathogenic intestinal bacteria to invade Caco-2 cells found in the intestinal wall, with the exception of saccharin which had no significant effect on the invasion of E. coli. . Coli.
The main author of the document, Dr. Havovi Chichger, a tenured professor of biomedical sciences at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said: “There is a lot of concern about the consumption of artificial sweeteners, with some studies showing that sweeteners can affect the layer of bacteria that support the gut, known as the intestinal microbiota.
“Our study is the first to show that some of the most common sweeteners in foods and beverages (saccharin, sucralose and aspartame) can cause normal, ‘healthy’ intestinal bacteria to become pathogenic. These pathogenic changes include increased biofilm formation. and increased bacterial adhesion and invasion of human intestinal cells.
“These changes can cause our own gut bacteria to invade and cause gut damage, which can be related to infections, sepsis and multiple organ failure.
“We know that excessive sugar consumption is an important factor in the development of conditions such as obesity and diabetes. Therefore, it is important that we increase our knowledge about sweeteners and sugars in the diet to better understand the impact on our health “.
Aparna Shil et al, artificial sweeteners negatively regulate the pathogenic characteristics of two model intestinal bacteria, E. coli and E. faecalis, International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2021). DOI: 10.3390 / ijms22105228
Anglia Ruskin University
Citation: Study Shows Possible Dangers of Sweeteners (2021, June 25) Retrieved June 25, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-potential-dangers-sweeteners.html
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