No one alive today was around before artificial sweeteners were a thing.
The first one, saccharine, was accidentally discovered in 1897. And although folks didn’t know it, by 1907 food manufacturers were secretly slipping the chemical concoction into canned foods and sodas.
By the 1950s those iconic pink packets of Sweet’N Low—first made from cyclamate and later saccharine—were gracing tables and sweetening sodas.
In the late 1970s, scientists stumbled into sucralose (Splenda) in a lab. And by the early 1980s, we had aspartame or Nutrasweet.
For decades, it was a virtual avalanche of artificial sweeteners. And we took to them all as if they were a godsend at first.
No, they didn’t taste exactly like sugar. But the fake stuff worked well enough we felt we could indulge in desserts and sodas again.
But all those fake sweeteners had a sour side. In their rush to make a quick buck, companies ignored their potential health risks. And questions about the safety of saccharine, aspartame, and sucralose continue to pile up to this day.
Research has already revealed that these fake sugars could mess with your metabolism. They may trigger sugar cravings, lead to weight gain, and have EVEN been linked to type 2 diabetes. (More on those side effects in a moment.)
And now a new study has revealed yet another potential danger of indulging in artificial sweeteners.
Artificial sweeteners could be KILLING your gut bugs
As you may know, experts estimate that up to 70 percent of our immune system is located in the gut. And that means when your gut bugs are out of balance it doesn’t JUST give you digestive issues.
For a healthy immune system, you NEED a healthy gut. But it turns out every time you down a diet soda or nibble on a sugar-free dessert you could be doing damage to your gut flora.
In the new study, published in the journal Moleculesresearchers exposed gut bacteria to each of the major artificial sweeteners. And one by one they destroyed the good bugs our bodies rely on to help keep us healthy.
In other words, it appears artificial sweeteners could be TOXIC to your gut.
Fake sugars could be causing you to pack on pounds
And of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen the dark side of fake sugars. Other research has found they could be doing the exact opposite of what they’re intended to do. They could cause you to GAIN weight.
Several studies, including the San Antonio Heart Study, found weight and BMI actually INCREASED more in folks using artificial sweeteners than people who just drank sugary drinks.
Even worse, it appears that fake sugar fans tend to pack on the pounds around the belly. And stubborn belly fat isn’t just unsightly. It’s downright dangerous. Because belly fat can increase your risk for metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
And even if your weight is stable, you may not be out of the woods.
Artificial sweeteners linked to deadly diseases
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that even normal-weight volunteers who drank diet sodas developed diabetes more often than their peers who stayed away from artificial sweeteners.
And it gets worse. A study published in The American Heart Association’s journal Stroke revealed artificial sweeteners might be bad for our brains too.
People who drank artificially sweetened beverages were significantly more likely to have a stroke or develop dementia when compared to the folks who said “no thanks” to the fake sugars.
If you haven’t removed artificial sweeteners from your own diet yet, it’s time. Just because these creepy chemicals are FDA approved, does NOT mean they’re safe.
There’s plenty of evidence that artificial sweeteners could be harming your health. Give your gut bugs a break and ban them from your diet TODAY.