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The study found that high doses of saccharin did not lead to diabetes in healthy adults

A new study led by researchers at the Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University and the Ohio State University School of Medicine found that substitute saccharin does not lead to diabetes in healthy adults.

Columbus, Ohio – For those trying to live a healthy lifestyle, the choice between sugar and artificial sweeteners like saccharin can be overwhelming. A new study led by researchers at the Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University and the Ohio State University School of Medicine found that substitute saccharin does not lead to diabetes in healthy adults as previous studies have suggested.

The results of the study have been published in the journal Microbiome.

“It’s not that the results of previous studies are wrong, they haven’t had adequate control over things like underlying health conditions, diet choices and lifestyle habits,” said George Kyriazes, assistant professor of biochemistry and pharmacology at Ohio State and lead author. studying. “By studying artificial saccharin in healthy adults, we isolated its effects and found no change in the participants’ gut microbiome or metabolic profile, as previously suggested.

Kyriazes collaborated with researchers at Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Ohio State College of Arts and Sciences, Sanford Burnham Prebice Institute of Medical Discovery in California, and the Institute for Transitional Research of Metabolism and Diabetes at Advent-Health in Florida.

Often consumed as a substitute for dietary sugars, no-calorie artificial sweeteners are one of only six artificial sweeteners approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The study authors note that the use of artificial sweeteners has increased dramatically over the past decade due to growing awareness of the negative health outcomes associated with consuming too much sugar.

Previous studies elsewhere have indicated that consuming artificial sweeteners is associated with metabolic syndrome, weight gain, obesity, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. These results raised concerns that their consumption might lead to negative public health outcomes, and that the lack of well-controlled intervention studies contributed to confusion, ”said first author of the study Joan Serrano, researcher in the Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacology in Ohio.

A total of 46 healthy adults aged 18 to 45 years with BMIs of 25 or less completed this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

Participants took capsules containing the maximum acceptable daily amount of either saccharin or lactisol (a sweet-taste receptor inhibitor, saccharin with lactisol, or a placebo) every day for two weeks.The maximum acceptable daily amount of saccharin was 400 milligrams per day, which is much more than what they consume. The average consumer.

The study excluded people with acute or chronic medical conditions or taking medications that could affect metabolic function, such as diabetes, bariatric surgery, inflammatory bowel disease, or a history of malabsorption and who were pregnant or breastfeeding.

The researchers also tested, for 10 weeks, the effects of a higher dose of saccharin in mice that genetically lacked the sweet-taste receptor with the same results: the artificial sweetener did not affect glucose tolerance, caused any major changes in the gut microbiota or apparent adverse health effects.

“Sugar, on the other hand, is well documented for contributing to obesity, heart disease and diabetes,” said Kyriazes. “So when you are given the choice, artificial sweeteners like saccharin are the clear winner based on all the scientific information we currently have.”

Future research will study each FDA-approved sweetener individually to examine if there are any differences in how they are metabolized. Researchers will study these substances over a longer period of time to ensure they are safe for daily use.

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The National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and Advent-Health funds have supported this work.

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