New studies show that non-sugar artificial sweeteners are actually much worse for your body than anyone could have imagined. In fact, not only are these sweeteners not actually helpful in weight loss, but they also could be negatively affecting your gut health and even changing your DNA.
In May of 2023, the joint Biomedical Engineering department at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill completed and published a study that revealed the horrifying reality that artificial sweeteners are actually “genotoxic,” meaning they disrupt DNA.
Dr. Susan Schiffman, an adjunct professor who worked on the study, told the press, “Our new work establishes that sucralose-6-acetate is genotoxic. We also found that trace amounts of sucralose-6-acetate can be found in off-the-shelf sucralose, even before it is consumed and metabolized.”
Essentially, that means that the chemical sucralose-6-acetate can be found in artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, not only once it’s digested by the body but even in the powder itself.
Medical professionals have been aware for some time that there are some genotoxic substances in our food, but they do not take them lightly. In fact, the European Food Safety Authority has made it clear that no person should ingest more than 0.15 micrograms of genotoxic chemicals per day.
However, Dr. Schiffman explained, “Our work suggests that the trace amounts of sucralose-6-acetate in a single, daily sucralose-sweetened drink exceed that threshold. And that’s not even accounting for the amount of sucralose-6-acetate produced as metabolites after people consume sucralose.”
And if the fact that artificial sweeteners are now proven to negatively affect DNA wasn’t enough, they’ve also found that sucralose-6-acetate is extremely bad for your gut and can even cause a medical condition known as “leaky gut,” during which harmful substances are absorbed into the bloodstream. They’ve also found that these sweeteners are directly related to inflammation, certain cancers, and oxidative stress.
Doctors and medical researchers also want people to know that even though it’s widely believed that artificial sugars can aid in weight loss, that rumor is simply untrue. Director for Nutrition and Food Safety for WHO, DR. Francesco Branca, told the media, “Replacing free sugars with [non-sugar sweeteners] does not help with weight control in the long term. NSS are not essential dietary factors and have no nutritional value. People should reduce the sweetness of the diet altogether, starting early in life, to improve their health.”
Dr. Susan Schiffman wants to make it exceptionally clear that “It’s time to revisit the safety and regulatory status of sucralose, because the evidence is mounting that it carries significant risks.” She continued to say, “If nothing else, I encourage people to avoid products containing sucralose. It’s something you should not be eating.”
The bottom line is that the WHO, the European Food Safety Authority, and the doctors and researchers from the universities in North Carolina want to make it exceptionally clear that while sugar can absolutely negatively affect the body, artificial sugars can be just as bad, if not worse.