Do you use low-cal sweeteners because they’re supposed to be better for us than regular sugar? Splenda, Sweet ‘N Low and Equal are go-tos for many people and were previously thought to be relatively harmless, but new research suggests that’s not the case. A new study finds those low-calorie sugar alternatives may have a negative impact on gut health.
The study tested the effect of four substances - saccharin (found in Sweet ‘N Low), sucralose (found in Splenda), aspartame (found in Equal and Nutrasweet) and stevia - on 120 healthy adult participants who didn’t use the low-cal sweeteners prior to the study. Researchers took microbiome samples from the gut and mouth and found that the sugar alternatives change the gut microbiome - the collection of microbes in the gut that help protect us against disease and help us digest food.
The tests show that saccharin and sucralose increased blood sugar levels and stevia increased insulin levels. “So bottom line here, these are not harmless or so-called ‘inert substances,’” explains Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent. “It’s about more than just the number of calories in these ingredients.” While more research is needed to know the full impact these have, if you’re currently using a lot of these sweeteners, Ashton recommends cutting back for your health.
Source: Good Morning America