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You’ve probably heard by now that artificial sweeteners are bad for your health. In fact, drinking diet sodas, sweetened with these chemical compounds has been linked to everything from migraines and kidney damage to heart attack and stroke.
And, now there’s one more reason to avoid those sweeteners…
The toxic effect they have on your gut microbes.
Killing off your gut microbiome
A new study by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore on six artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, saccharine, neotame, advantame, and acesulfame potassium-k) and 10 sport supplements containing these artificial sweeteners found that when they enter your digestive tract, they have the power to destroy your gut microbiome.
In fact, they discovered that concentrations of only one mg/ml of the artificial sweeteners are toxic to your natural gut bacteria.
Why is this important?
Because poor gut health contributes numerous health risks.
Here’s what you should be concerned about…
#1 – Heart disease
Research has revealed that your gut health and specifically the composition of your gut microbiome affect your risk of developing heart disease. So, those artificial sweeteners could have a direct impact on whether or not you die of a heart attack.
#2 – Weakened immune system
A whopping 80 percent of your immune system is in your gut which means that poor gut health equals a weak immune system. If you’re constantly getting sick, consumption of artificial sweeteners could be to blame.
#3 – Autoimmune disorders
Just like with the immune system problems above, poor gut health and autoimmune diseases go hand-in-hand. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and lupus are just a few of the diseases you could be at risk for.
#4 – Obesity
An unhealthy gut microbiome can make it easy to gain weight and far more difficult to lose it. So, those diet drinks could actually be contributing to the problem you’re trying to fix.
#5 – Poor mental health
Your gut is often called your “Second Brain”. And, a problem in your second brain can lead to problems in your first brain through the gut-brain axis leaving you to suffer from mental health issues like depression, anxiety and ADHD. Each time you reach for a diet drink, you could be making your symptoms worse.
#6 – Skin problems
That psoriasis, eczema or even acne you’ve been experienced could be linked to your gut microbiome. If you’re suffering from skin issues, avoiding all artificial sweeteners is the way to go.
#7 – Asthma
When your gut microbiome is out of balance, it can cause increased problems with asthma and even sinus infections. Kick artificial sweeteners to the curb to get control of your symptoms.
#8 – Diabetes
Research has shown a direct link between blood sugar problems and gut problems. In fact, one study found that when you transplant a healthy microbiome into mice with diabetes their blood sugar problems disappeared. So, if you want to avoid diabetes, avoid artificial sweeteners.
#9 – Parkinson’s
Did you know that 75 percent of people who develop Parkinson’s experience problems with their gut first? And, research has shown that changes in gut bacteria increase the issues with motor skills that Parkinson’s patients suffer from. This means that a big part of warding off Parkinson’s could be maintaining optimal gut health.
#10 – Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Changes in gut health, especially decreases in the levels of your good bacteria are believed to be associated with the onset of inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. Avoiding artificial sweeteners and maintaining your gut health could help you prevent these diseases.
#11 – Colon Cancer
Problems with your gut microbiome also increase your chance of colon cancer. No diet drink is worth increasing your risk of this devastating disease.
Hidden Artificial Sweeteners
Here’s how to spot artificial sweeteners so that you can wipe them from your diet for good.
- Acesulfame Potassium – Sunnett, Sweet One
- Aspartame – Nutrasweet, Equal
- Neotame – Newtame
- Saccharin – Sweet ‘N Low, Sweet Twin, Sugar Twin
- Sucralose – Splenda
And remember, these aren’t just found in diet drinks, companies are hiding them in numerous food products including:
- Whole wheat bagels and breads
- Microwave popcorn
- Hot chocolate
- Ice cream
- Breath mints and gum
- Chocolate syrup
- Jello and puddings
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- 5 Big health risks every time you drink soda — Easy Health Options
- Artificial sweeteners have toxic effects on gut microbes — American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
- 12 Health Problems Caused by Your Gut — Accord Clinical Research
- What Your Gut Bacteria Say About You — WebMD
- 24 foods that artificial sweeteners are hiding in — Business Insider