Artificial Sweeteners: Friend or Foe to Your Microbiome

Amanda Brown


The gut microbiome is home to trillions of microorganisms that help regulate and balance the delicate processes performed in the body to drive metabolism and absorption of nutrients from foods consumed. Artificial sweeteners, specifically aspartame, have been named the new, and upcoming “bad guys” of the nutrition world, contributing to diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cancer. It is advised to avoid products containing aspartame due to their reported detrimental effects to the body. Multiple studies have been conducted showing positive correlation from the consumption of artificial sweeteners for increased obesity and raising risk of type 2 diabetes onset. An increased risk of cancer is also widely popular and suggested with the consumption of aspartame products, although studies have not provided strong evidence to support to these buzzing claims. In the past few years, it has become more popular for healthcare providers to suggest adding probiotics in order to aid a distressed or enhance a normal microbiome, but this may not be necessarily the long term answer to a healthy gut. A healthy diet may be the best answer to the longevity of a healthy, functioning microbiome. Overall, the recommendation to avoid the consumption of artificial sweeteners stands firm.

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