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Year in review: Gut reacts to artificial sweeteners

Microbe-saccharin mix disturbs metabolism

By
12:00pm, December 16, 2014
packets of Sweet'N Low

SWEETENER CONCERNS  The artificial sweetener saccharin, the main component in Sweet'N Low, interferes with the body’s ability to metabolize fuel, a condition that often precedes diabetes, obesity and other metabolic problems.

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It wasn’t a bittersweet year for saccharin — just bitter. An elaborate study demonstrated that the artificial sweetener messes with the body’s ability to metabolize glucose, a condition that often presages diabetes, obesity and other metabolic problems (SN: 10/18/14, p. 6). The kicker: Microbes in the gut seem to mediate this off-kilter metabolism, although scientists don’t know how.

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