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Study Finds Low-Calorie Sweeteners May Have Positive Impact on Gut Microbiota

Feb. 26, 2024
Tate & Lyle and Cryptobiotix find sucralose does not impact the gut microbiota, while other low and no calorie sweeteners have potentially beneficial health effects.

A new study reported in February has identified potentially beneficial interactions between certain low- and no-calorie sweeteners, including stevia, and the human gut microbiota. The study was carried out by Tate & Lyle Plc and Cryptobiotix.

The project explored the impact of the sweeteners on the gut environment in both healthy people and those with type 2 diabetes. The research involved taking samples from co-living adults consuming a similar diet – to lower the potential variation introduced by differences in long-term diet, a major driver of microbiota composition.

The doses of low and no calorie sweeteners used were based on actual intakes, regulations and amounts that are generally included in foods and beverages during different timepoints.

Results from the pre-clinical study, published in the peer reviewed, open-access journal International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, found that some of the studied low calorie and no calorie sweeteners had no impact on the gut microbiota, while others had potential beneficial health effects. 

Using Cryptobiotix’s SIFR technology, which recreates the gut environment outside of the human body, the research partners found that some sweeteners, such as sucralose, do not impact the microbial composition of the gut. But others, including stevia, have a beneficial impact on the gut microbiota as they were found to be easily fermented and increase the density of certain health-supporting bacteria, with the production of short-chain fatty acids.

About the Author

Dave Fusaro | Editor in Chief

Dave Fusaro has served as editor in chief of Food Processing magazine since 2003. Dave has 30 years experience in food & beverage industry journalism and has won several national ASBPE writing awards for his Food Processing stories. Dave has been interviewed on CNN, quoted in national newspapers and he authored a 200-page market research report on the milk industry. Formerly an award-winning newspaper reporter who specialized in business writing, he holds a BA in journalism from Marquette University. Prior to joining Food Processing, Dave was Editor-In-Chief of Dairy Foods and was Managing Editor of Prepared Foods.

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