Thursday, September 18, 2014

Artificial Sweeteners, Obesity, and Gut Bacteria

People who use artificial sweeteners are just as fat as people who don't. Nobody has ever tried to read very much into this finding, though, because it's pretty obvious that some people are using artificial sweeteners because they are fat and worried about it. But anyway it has long been clear that saccharin and aspartame are not the cure for obesity.

Now, Israeli scientists have been feeding artificial sweeteners to mice, and they have found that in mice (at least), saccharin can actually cause metabolic problems, apparently by interfering with gut bacteria. So it seems possible that artificial sweeteners actually make some people fatter by changing the population of bacteria in their guts. After all, as we have seen so many times on this blog, gut bacteria control everything, so messing with them can be a very bad thing to do. (See here, here, here, here, here, and here. No, I'm not obsessed. Why?)

1 comment:

leif said...

Has anyone seen the actual research paper? From the snippets I can see in the summary images, and one page on ReadCube, it appears that many of their results refer to tests involving saccharin, and some other results do measure response to aspartame and sucralose, but apparently in combination with saccharin. I can't tell if any tests are 'pure' in their measurement of the effects of each artificial sweetener. They also do not appear to test natural sweeteners such as stevia.