Diet and Nutrition

Skip the Sweet N Low! Do Artificial Sweeteners Make Crohn’s Disease Worse?

Adding fuel to the fire

The findings suggested that the consumption of Splenda may increase myeloperoxidase activity only in individuals predisposed to a pro-inflammatory condition, such as Crohn’s disease. As a result, inflammation and other adverse effects could worsen the symptoms of the disease. “Our findings suggest that patients with Crohn’s disease should think carefully about consuming Splenda or similar products containing sucralose and maltodextrin. Several studies have examined the ingredients found in this widely available product, separately. Here, we used Splenda as a means to test the combined effect of the commercial ingredients and used one of the best animal models of ileal Crohn’s disease” said Alex Rodriguez-Palacios, lead author of the study and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. “This study demonstrates that the sweetener induces changes in gut bacteria and gut wall immune cell reactivity, which could result in inflammation or disease flare ups in susceptible people. On the other hand, the study suggests that individuals free of intestinal diseases may not need to be overly concerned” he added.