Consumption of this very common sweetener could damage the intestine: Femme Actuelle Le MAG

These are components found in canned products, low-calorie foods and drinks and even some dietary supplements. These contain artificial sweeteners, a food additive, serving as a substitute for sugar. Among them, we note neotame is a “intense synthetic sweetener whose sweetening power is 7,000 to 13,000 times that of sucrose (i.e. 40 to 60 times that of aspartame), can we read on the UFC-Que Choisir website.

Researchers at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in England looked into the effects of neotame on the human body. Specialists have discovered that it can damage the human intestine and cause diseases and inflammations, such as diarrhea, intestinal inflammation or, in the most severe cases, cause sepsis. Their results are published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition.

Neotame, a sweetener, which could damage gut health

Starting point for this research work, the presence of artificial sweeteners in many products. “Due to their widespread use, artificial sweeteners are expected to have an estimated global market value of $3 billion by the end of 2025”, note the authors in the introduction to their study. Among the best known are sucralose, saccharin and aspartame.

But experts note that artificial sweeteners “more recently developed which herald the next generation of sweet additives”, including neotame, currently recognized as safe by the United States Food and Drug Administration, could become increasingly widespread.

Researchers from Anglia Ruskin University looked at the effects of this sweetener on the intestine. The authors of the study based themselves on previous research in which they had shown that certain artificial sweeteners could disrupt the intestinal microbiota. The researchers therefore analyzed the reaction of models of intestinal bacteria and the intestinal epithelium (which plays a role in immune defense) when exposed to neotame.

The researchers discovered that neotame can damage the intestinal epithelium directly, via the sweet taste receptor, T1R3, and indirectly, by stimulating pathogenic changes in model intestinal bacteria that are closely associated with the epithelium”. According to researchers, this can negatively impact intestinal health and increase the risk of “certain metabolic and inflammatory diseases, neuropathic pain and neurological disorders”.

Researchers call for new research into newer sweeteners

“There is now a growing awareness of the health impacts of sweeteners such as saccharin, sucralose and aspartame, with our own previous work demonstrating the problems they can cause to the intestinal wall and the damage caused to the ‘good bacteria’ that form in our intestine”details Dr Chichger, associate professor of biomedical sciences at Anglia Ruskin University, England and lead author of the study, in a press release.

According to the specialist who speaks in the press release, this can “lead to a range of potential health problems, including diarrhea, intestinal inflammation and even infections such as septicemia if the bacteria entered the bloodstream.” Also, the researcher calls for new research, particularly on “sweeteners that have been introduced more recently and our new research demonstrates that neotame causes similar problems, including gut bacteria disease.”


  • The artificial sweetener neotame negatively regulates the intestinal epithelium directly through T1R3-signaling and indirectly through pathogenic changes to model gut bacteria – Frontiers in Nutrition
  • Artificial sweetener has potential to damage gut – press release
  • E961 Neotame Test – UFC Que Choisir 2018

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