Scientists Discover that Neotame, a Sweetener in Cakes and Beverages, Can Harm the Gut Wall

A recent study discovered that an artificial sweetener prevalent in sweets, soft drinks, and chewing gum can cause substantial health harm by weakening the gut.

If neotame, a sweetener, is consumed in even little amounts, it can cause insulin resistance, irritable bowel syndrome, and even sepsis, which kills over 40,000 people in Britain annually.

The results highlighted the possibility of a “toxic effect” on health for a few of a new class of sweeteners that give food items an extremely sweet flavor, according to the researchers.

According to the study’s main author, Dr. Havovi Chichger, some sweeteners may be harmful to consumers even though they could be a healthier option than sugar.

Neotame was created in 2002 as an alternative to aspartame, a controversial sweetener that has gained popularity in recent years in UK-sold beverages and foods. On the list of ingredients that may be found on product labels, it is frequently referred to as E961.

The study’s co-author, Dr. Aparna Shil of Jahangirnagar University in Bangladesh, and associate professor Chichger of Anglia Ruskin University stated that neotame posed a health risk because it may harm the intestine by causing “good bacteria” to become sick and infiltrate the gut wall. Due to the possibility of the gut wall’s epithelial barrier rupturing, the process could result in disease.

Their results were published in the medical journal Frontiers in Nutrition, and they claim to be the first to demonstrate that neotame can negatively affect beneficial gut microbes.

Other popular sweeteners, like saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame, have also been shown to have that negative impact by earlier research, including that conducted by Chichger.

 Chichger stated.  “There is now growing awareness of the health impacts of sweeteners such as saccharin, sucralose and aspartame, with our own previous work demonstrating the problems they can cause to the wall of the intestine and the damage to the ‘good bacteria’ which form in our gut.”

“This can lead to a range of potential health issues including diarrhoea, intestinal inflammation, and even infections such as septicaemia if the bacteria were to enter the blood stream. Therefore, it is important to also study sweeteners that have been introduced more recently, and our new research demonstrates that neotame causes similar problems, including gut bacteria becoming diseased.”

Given the widespread usage of artificial sweeteners, the co-authors stated that additional research was necessary to examine “the toxic effects of some of the artificial sweeteners that have been developed more recently.” Some of the newest sweeteners on the market have a 1,000-fold increase in sweetness compared to sugar.

Chichger emphasized that neotame might be hazardous “Even when we studied neotame at very low concentrations, 10 times lower than the acceptable daily intake, we saw the breakdown of the gut barrier and a shift in bacteria to a more damaging behaviour, including increased invasion of healthy gut cells leading to cell death. This can be linked to issues such as irritable bowel diseases and sepsis,” the speaker noted.

In 2010, the European Food Safety Authority declared neotame to be “safe for use.” Since then, over 35 countries have authorized its use. However, Chichger stated that Efsa is currently examining the safety of neotame as part of a series of evidence-based risk evaluations that could result in a reevaluation of specific sweeteners.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *