sugar

Real Sugar Disrupts Your Gut Health

We’ve warned you in the past about the growing number of ways too-sweet-for-their-own-good artificial sweeteners can harm your gut health.

These outcomes may have been surprising to some in the scientific community not so long ago based on an incorrect belief that sugar was absorbed into the intestine and never made it the gut.

Considering the amount of artificial and refined sugars many people eat in the typical Western diet full of processed foods, however, it’s hard to imagine human health, not to mention the gut, not being harmed in some way.

Now, we’re learning consuming refined sugar can be a problem for your gut too, especially if your goal is to stay lean and fit, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Based on their research with mice, scientists at the Yale School of Medicine discovered how large amounts of fructose and glucose (the main components of table sugar) immediately blocked the production of an important protein (Roc).

This protein allows a specific species of gut bacteria — Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron — to process vegetables and other fiber-rich foods efficiently and help your body maintain a healthy weight.

Maintaining and protecting the various species of Bacteroides in your gut is critical to good health and keeping those extra pounds off, as this bacteria can be pretty scarce in people who are obese or overweight.

“The role of diet in the gut microbiome goes farther than just providing nutrients. It appears that carbohydrates like sugar can act as signaling molecules as well,” says Dr. Eduardo Groisman, senior author of the study and professor of microbial pathogenesis, according to Yale News.

For this study, scientists tested several sugars, both simple and complex ones, but only mixtures with fructose or glucose triggered the blockage of proteins in the gut.

The good news here is that you have plenty of reliable resources at hand to help you lose weight, starting with eating a better diet focused on fewer carbs and more whole foods.

You can also give your weight-loss journey a gut-healthy boost with EndoMune Metabolic Rescue’s unique blend of Bifidobacteria lactis and the prebiotic XOS that protects your gut health and promotes natural, effective weight loss.

someone pouring sweetener into their coffee

How Artificial Sweeteners May Hurt You

Artificial sweeteners have found their way into a wide variety of foods — mostly processed products like diet sodas, but even in ones prepared at home — people eat in their efforts to lose weight over the years.

There are always tradeoffs when you make drastic changes in your diet, however, and some may not be worth it based on the state of your health.

Unfortunately, switching to artificial sweeteners could be a serious tradeoff that can cause serious problems for your gut health.

The damage was real, based on the results of a very recent study that monitored the gut health of 29 healthy, non-diabetic Australian patients who consumed artificial sweeteners.

Some patients received the amount of artificial sweeteners you’d drink in 1.5 liters (about 51 ounces) of diet sodas each day for just two weeks or a placebo.

After comparing stool samples before and after the trial, researchers concluded the consumption of artificial sweeteners was enough to change the composition of bacteria in the human gut for the worse.

Not only did bacteria that promote good health significantly decrease, so did the species that fermented foods. Plus, 11 different species of opportunistic bad bacteria increased too.

All of these changes in the gut occurred at the very same time as declines in microbial genes that work to metabolize simple sugars like glucose and a specific hormone (GLP-1) that controls blood glucose levels.

Just to reiterate, all of these changes happened in just two weeks.

A second recent study appearing in the journal Molecules (conducted by researchers in Singapore and Israel) underscored the damage artificial sweeteners could do to your gut health.

This time, scientists exposed modified E. coli bacteria to 1 milligram amounts of a half-dozen popular sweeteners. Interestingly, each sugary substance did its own unique damage, from harming DNA to proteins in bacteria.

Artificial sweeteners are non-natural for good reason. Compared to real table sugar, many high-intensity, artificial sweeteners can be as much as 20,000 times sweeter than the real thing.

For example, the six artificial sweeteners used in the E. coli study are referred to as high-intensity sweeteners, according to the FDA. Here’s why, based how much sweeter they are compared to table sugar.

  • Aspartame: 200 times
  • Acesulfame potassium-k: 200 times
  • Sucralose: 600 times
  • Saccharine: 200-700 times
  • Neotame: 7,000-13,000 times
  • Advantame: 20,000 times

These aren’t the first studies that have called out artificial sweeteners for the possible harmful effects to your gut health, and they probably won’t be the last ones either.

The good news is that you have healthy options that are easy to do. For example, drinking more water keeps you hydrated, and promotes a sense of fullness so you won’t overeat.

If diet drinks are too hard for you to give up, based on this research alone, taking a probiotic — ideally a brand with multiple species of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic — will protect the healthy balance of bacteria in your gut.

And, if you’ve been wanting to lose weight, the unique mix of Bififobacterium lactis and the prebiotic XOS in EndoMune Metabolic Rescue will give your body the jump start it needs to promote a feeling of fullness and protect your gut health too.

Artificial sweeteners may harm your gut health

Earlier this year, we explained how poor gut health can be one underlying factor that contributes to the epidemic of obesity plaguing our country.

So, you start on the right track by getting the right amount of exercise and sleep, cutting down on fatty foods, and switching from products containing real sugar to those made with non-caloric artificial sweeteners (to liven up that early morning infusion of java).

Unfortunately, those artificial sweeteners—specifically sucralose (sold in America as Splenda), aspartame (Nutrasweet and Equal) and saccharine (Necta Sweet or Sweet‘N Low)—may have the opposite effect, according to research published in the journal Nature.

Scientists from the Weizman Institute of Science’s Department of Immunology (Israel) made the discovery after feeding 10-week-old mice one of several diets (normal or high-fat) and water laced with one of the artificial sweeteners mirroring amounts sanctioned by the FDA, plain water or water mixed with glucose.

Eleven weeks later, the test animals exhibited signs of glucose intolerance, an indicator signaling several metabolic conditions including adult-onset diabetes or metabolic syndrome. What’s more, repeating the same test with different mice and different amounts of artificial sweeteners produced the very same results.

How test animals react to artificial sweeteners

Then, researchers tested a theory that the gut’s reaction to artificial sweeteners may be triggering glucose intolerance, because our bodies don’t recognize the sugar as food, using only saccharin. Interestingly, they found saccharin isn’t absorbed by the gut but does have contact with the gut bacteria in mice, which triggers glucose intolerance.

Other signs that gut bacteria was affected by artificial sweeteners:

  • Treating the mice with antibiotics reversed the process completely.
  • Transferring the microbiota of mice harmed by artificial sweeteners to sterile mice conferred the same results to the new animals.
  • DNA sequencing revealed contact with saccharin affected the diversity of gut bacteria.
  • Even placing the affected gut microbiota outside the bodies of sterile mice along with artificial sweeteners was enough to induce glucose intolerance.

How YOUR gut reacts to artificial sweeteners

Lastly, researchers at the Weisman Institute turned to data collected from The Personalized Nutrition Project, the largest human trial to study the connections between the human gut microbiota and nutrition.

Based just on the reporting of some 400 people (at this time only from Israel) participating in the project, scientists discovered a significant connection between their gut bacteria, self-reported consumption of artificial sweeteners and clinical signs of glucose intolerance.

Finally, scientists recruited seven fit and health volunteers who didn’t use artificial sweeteners to incorporate the maximum daily amount of it in their diets for seven days. The gut health of four patients changed to a balance associated with the propensity for metabolic diseases, while the remaining three weren’t affected at all.

Why were some volunteers affected, but others weren’t? Specific bacteria in the guts of those who developed glucose intolerance reacted to the fake sugar by secreting substances that triggered an inflammatory response similar to sugar overdose, thus promoting changes in the body’s ability to metabolize sugar, said Dr. Eran Elinav.

Even more compelling: Treating mice with gut bacteria of volunteers whose gut bacteria developed glucose intolerance triggered the same result.

Taking a probiotic protects your gut

“Our relationship with our own individual mix of gut bacteria is a huge factor in determining how the food we eat affects us,” said Dr. Elinav in a press release. “Especially intriguing is the link between use of artificial sweeteners—through the bacteria in our guts—to a tendency to develop the very disorders they were designed to prevent; this calls for reassessment of today’s massive, unsupervised consumption of these substances.”

Because the effect of artificial sweeteners wasn’t universal, it’s possible that probiotics could be used to shift gut bacteria in order to reverse the damage done by glucose intolerance, said Dr. Eran Segal, Department of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at the Weizman Institute to the New York Times.

Because your gut bacteria can change very quickly based on the good and bad foods you eat, it’s more important than ever to take a probiotic, like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic or EndoMune Advanced Junior (for kids), containing multiple strains of beneficial bacteria for your good gut health.

Not-So-Sweet News For Your Gut

Multiple studies have been performed on the impact that fructose and artificial sweetners have upon the body. Now new research supports that these items, with the addition of sugary alcohols may contribute to metabolic disorders and obesity by triggering a “Western” gut microbiome. The microbiome occurs as a result of decreased diversity in the intestinal tract.

The impact of this microbiome can range from short-term to long-term, depending on your rate of consumption. To combat its negative impacts and promote a healthily diverse digestive bacteria environment, try a product like EndoMune which delivers both potency and variety.

Check out the full article and learn more about how the impact the “Western” gut microbiome is having upon recent community health.

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