Artificial sweeteners in drinks ‘can be toxic to your gut bacteria’

Millions of us swill down artificial sweeteners on a daily basis in 'Diet' and 'Zero' fizzy drinks – but there's increasing evidence they're not good for us.

Multiple studies have shown that artificial sweeteners don't seem to promote weight loss – and a new study suggests that they can devastate our gut bacteria.

That could cause a "wide range of health issues", the researchers warn.

Researchers from Ben Gurion university tested six commonly used including aspartame, sucralose on saccharine on bacteria which had been engineered to glow.

"We modified bioluminescent E. coli bacteria, which luminesce when they detect toxicants and act as a sensing model representative of the complex microbial system," says Professor Ariel Kushmaro.

The chemicals had a toxic, stressing effect

"This is further evidence that consumption of artificial sweeteners adversely affects gut microbial activity which can cause a wide range of health issues."

The researchers found that the chemicals had a toxic, stressing effect.

The researchers believe that just having one or two artificially sweetened drinks per day could affect gut bacteria – making it harder to process sugar and other carbohydrates.

Lead author Kushmaro said: "We are not claiming that it's toxic to human beings we're claiming that it might be toxic to the gut bacteria, and by that, will influence us."

Kushmaro said: "My recommendation is to not use artificial sweeteners."

- This article first appeared on Yahoo UK

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