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Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota.

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Artificial sweeteners given to various mice results in glucose intolerance

The scientists first subjected healthy, lean mice to a glucose tolerance test. This makes it possible to check how well an organism is able to process a large amount of orally ingested glucose. With humans as well this test helps in detecting incipient diabetes. Following this the scientists adjusted the drinking water of the animals by adding the maximum recommended daily consumption dose of saccharin, aspartame or Sucralose. The control animals drank sugar water or unsweetened water. After eleven weeks, the researchers repeated the glucose tolerance test – with a clear result: during the experimental time period, all sweetener-drinking mice developed glucose intolerance, whereas none of the control mice did. Among animals that had been drinking saccharin-containing water, the precursor stage of type 2 diabetes was particularly pronounced. Further experiments with obese mice and animals of varied strains showed the same result: the consumption of sweeteners always led to glucose intolerance, a misregulated glucose metabolism. How does this happen?

“Most sweeteners pass through the gastrointestinal tract without being digested”, the researchers write. Therefore the substances act directly on bacterial colonisation and on the composition of the gut. The gut microbiota’s composition in turn plays a central role in the regulation of many physiological processes, including the metabolism of sugar.

Antibiotics neutralise the effect

In order to test whether the gastrointestinal flora of the animals is actually involved in glucose intolerance, the researchers administered high dosage of the broad-spectrum antibiotics ciprofloxacin and metronidazole, which act on Gram-negative bacteria, to both the leaner and obese animal subjects. During the antibiotic treatment, the animals continue to drink sweetener-containing water. Already after four weeks of therapy the researchers were barely able to detect glucose-intolerance test differences between the fatter and leaner animals drinking sweetener and the control animals. What’s more, Vancomycin, targeted at Gram-positive bacteria, also led to this effect.

“These results suggest that the sweetener-induced glucose intolerance is caused by changes in the gut flora and the different proportions of its bacterial representatives”, the study authors conclude.

A further test was used to confirm this assumption: the scientists transferred the bacteria of the gastrointestinal flora of sweetener-drinking mice to microbe-free control mice. Already six days after the faecal transplant these mice were also suffering from glucose intolerance. Here was yet another indication for the researchers that sweeteners, via the modulation of the intestinal flora, lead to a precursor form of type 2 diabetes.

Reddit comments:

Pollan's is still right

7 Words & 7 Rules for EatingPollan says everything he's learned about food and health can be summed up in seven words: "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants."

Probably the first two words are most important. "Eat food" means to eat real food -- vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and, yes, fish and meat -- and to avoid what Pollan calls "edible food-like substances."

Here's how:

  1. Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. "When you pick up that box of portable yogurt tubes, or eat something with 15 ingredients you can't pronounce, ask yourself, "What are those things doing there?" Pollan says.
  2. Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can't pronounce.
  3. Stay out of the middle of the supermarket; shop on the perimeter of the store. Real food tends to be on the outer edge of the store near the loading docks, where it can be replaced with fresh foods when it goes bad.
  4.  Don't eat anything that won't eventually rot. "There are exceptions -- honey -- but as a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad aren't food," Pollan says.
  5. It is not just what you eat but how you eat. "Always leave the table a little hungry," Pollan says. "Many cultures have rules that you stop eating before you are full. In Japan, they say eat until you are four-fifths full. Islamic culture has a similar rule, and in German culture they say, 'Tie off the sack before it's full.'"
  6. Families traditionally ate together, around a table and not a TV, at regular meal times. It's a good tradition. Enjoy meals with the people you love. "Remember when eating between meals felt wrong?" Pollan asks.
  7. Don't buy food where you buy your gasoline. In the U.S., 20% of food is eaten in the car.

Those are great rules, Christina. Every time I see them I'm reminded.

Also I did not realize honey doesn't rot.

The 20% of eating is in cars statistic is sad. 

those poor mice!

good thing i can't stand the flavor of artificial sweeteners... i'm safe!  but i'll make sure to spread the word to others!

There are some people for whom the sweetness is addictive.

They know it's not good for them but they have difficulty stopping.

So science continues to study these chemicals and their effects.

(somber) yes.

It's understandable that sweetness is addictive.

Who wouldn't want more sweetness in their lives?

agreed!  (enter sweet gif here)

Two sweet gifs, coming up...

sweet gif

sweet gif

perfect.  i would have specified sweet japanese animated cat gifs if i had known you could do it!

Well then... More sweet Japanese animated cats from world of chi:

sweet gif

sweet gif

sweet gif

sweet gif

sweet gif

My reaction:

Britney Spears youre sweet gif tumblr imgur

i especially like the coffee one!

Me too although these come close...

world of chi gif

world of chi gif

world of chi gif

too cute!  those tongues!!

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