Artificial sweeteners are in many drinks nowadays. They give diet versions of fizzy drinks their sweetness instead of sugar allowing for low calorie alternatives for those on a calorie controlled diet or just those wanting to reduce their sugar intake.
After all, we are told that consuming too much sugar can have many detrimental effects including causing glucose intolerance, a term used to describe many conditions that lead to an increased blood sugar level as the body does not react to high amounts of sugar in the blood.
In a new piece of research published in the journal Nature, it would appear that some artificial sweeteners can alter the bacteria in the guts of mice (and supposedly of humans) and this change can lead to glucose intolerance. For some reason, only about 40% of humans seem to show this effect.
To confirm if the changes are stable the researchers transferred the bacteria from one mouse fed on a diet including artificial sweeteners to one who was fed a normal diet. This mouse also started to have increased blood sugar levels. Antibiotics were able to reverse this effect.
In recent research it was suggested repeatedly that if we look more closely on the bacteria in our guts we may learn more about ourselves. This gives a totally new meaning about what we call a gut feeling.