Microbe-saccharin mix disturbs metabolism
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.
Israel-based researchers first established that blood sugar levels in mice got wonky after the mice consumed artificial sweeteners, then used antibiotic treatments to probe the saccharin-gut microbe connection. The team gathered genetic