Skip the Sweet N Low! Do Artificial Sweeteners Make Crohn’s Disease Worse?
The high intake of sugar is known to increase the risk for multiple diseases, which is why many individuals substitute it with artificial sweeteners.
Artificial sweeteners work in a way that they convey a sweet flavor to lots of foods and beverages without the calories of sugar. Included are brands such as Sweet N Low, Splenda, Sugar Twin, NutraSweet, Sweet One, Equal, and Sorbitol. Perhaps a few of the most popular reasons which can be accredited to the use of these sugar substitutes include controlling weight and diabetes. For this reason, health experts have advised their cautious use as a replacement for sugar among diabetics and individuals suffering from obesity or metabolic syndrome.
Now, a recent study has found that artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, may worsen the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
Researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and fellow colleagues have found that the artificial sweetener sucralose (commonly known as Splenda), given over a six-week period, worsens gastrointestinal inflammation in mice with Crohn’s-like disease. Splenda was first introduced in 1998 and since then, it is become one of the most popular artificial sweeteners on the market. It is 600 times sweeter than sugar but it provides very few calories.
The new findings, published in the journal Inflammatory Bowel Diseases in March of 2018, revealed a high percentage of Proteobacteria (a large group of gram-negative bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella) in the gastrointestinal tracts of the mice drinking water that contained Splenda. While a certain amount of these bacteria are normal in the body, overgrowth is harmful and contributes to many health problems.
Read on to learn more about artificial sweeteners and their effect.