Article quick-view

Revisited: Assessing the in vivo data on low/no-calorie sweeteners and the gut microbiota.

ABSTRACT

Over the last two decades, safety concerns about low/no-calorie sweeteners (LNCS) have been described in the archival scientific literature including elevated risk of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, excessive weight gain, cardiovascular disease, safety, and disruption of the gut microbiome. A recent review by Lobach, Roberts, and Roland in Food and Chemical Toxicology examined 17 research articles on modulation of gut bacteria by LNCS along with other selected publications. In the conclusions of their paper, they claim that LNCS 1) do not affect gut microbiota at use levels and 2) are safe at levels approved by regulatory agencies. Both of these claims are incorrect. The scientific literature on LNCS clearly indicates that it is inappropriate to draw generalized conclusions regarding effects on gut microbiota and safety issues for compounds that vary widely chemical structure and pharmacokinetics. Scientific studies on the sweetener sucralose, used here as a representative LNCS, indicate that this organochlorine compound unequivocally and irrefutably disrupts the gut microbiome at doses relevant to human use. Results of dozens of additional research publications added and reviewed here also raise significant and extensive concerns about the safety of sucralose for the human food supply. Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Ltd.