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Are Artificial Sweeteners Making Your Gut Leak?

Are Artificial Sweeteners Making Your Gut Leak?

Artificial sweeteners have been the go-to for many people wanting to satisfy their sweet tooths without the extra calories. These man-made chemicals are so effective, giant food manufacturers use them in many processed foods, even ones you’d never imagine (from packaged fruits to tortillas). But, as we’ve discussed previously, the tasty tradeoffs often do more harm than good especially for your gut. One of the most commonly used artificial sweeteners on the market — sucralose — is under more scrutiny than ever after a recent report from North Carolina State University (NCSU). If you use artificial sweeteners to add a little sugar to your morning coffee or to bake your favorite cookies, you will definitely think twice after reading this report!  

A Toxin For Your DNA and Gut

The biggest takeaway from this NCSU report appearing in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B: A compound formed when sucralose is digested in the gut — sucralose-6-acetate — is a genotoxin capable of causing damage to the DNA in your cells. Scientists came to this alarming conclusion after exposing human blood cells to sucralose-6-acetate, and observing how this chemical broke up DNA. And that’s not all. Exposing gut tissues that line the walls of the gut to sucralose and sucralose-6-acetate created opportunities for leaky gut. When your gut is exposed to sucralose and other artificial sweeteners, the lining of walls in your gut breaks down allowing toxic waste products and undigested food that would normally be removed in your feces to seep into your bloodstream, triggering inflammation that leads to even more health problems. “We found that gut cells exposed to sucralose-6-acetate had increased activity in genes related to oxidative stress, inflammation and carcinogenicity,” says study author Dr. Susan Schiffman. Scientists also detected trace amounts of sucralose-6-acetate in containers of sucralose you can buy in your local grocery store, Dr. Schiffman says. If you’re wondering how much sucralose is too much, trace amounts of sucralose-6-acetate contained in the average artificially sweetened drink exceed 0.15 micrograms, a threshold of toxic concern established by the European Food Safety Authority. These findings revealed such serious problems for human health, researchers recommended that federal health officials revisit the safety and regulatory status of sucralose.  

Here’s How To Protect Your Health and Your Gut

Dr. Schiffman says the best way to protect your health from this looming health issue is the easiest. “If nothing else, I encourage people to avoid products containing sucralose. It’s something you should not be eating.” That means giving up sweet drinks for water and processed foods made with artificial sweeteners for more whole foods. (Time to read the nutrition labels on any processed foods at the grocery store too!) Also, you’ll want to make an effort to heal and rebalance the health of your gut and a good probiotic like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic, formulated with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria and a prebiotic that feeds the good bugs in your gut, can do the job!  

References

Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B North Carolina State University WebMD Cleveland Clinic Yahoo Life PubMed

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