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Medical News Today (MNT)Artificial Sweetener Neotame May Have Potential to Damage Gut, Lead to IBS

Neotame’s Impact on Gut Health: A Closer Look at Intestinal and Bacterial Changes

Artificial sweeteners like neotame are widely used in the food industry for their high sweetness level and low-calorie content. Recent findings from a study conducted by Anglia Ruskin University have raised concerns about the safety of neotame, particularly regarding its effects on intestinal health. This summary aims to distill the key points from the research, focusing on the practical implications for clinical practice.

Key Points:

  • Study Context: Neotame, an artificial sweetener approved since 2002, is used in various food products where aspartame is unsuitable. It is notably more stable at high temperatures, making it ideal for baked goods.
  • Cellular Damage: The study documents that neotame can damage epithelial cells in the intestinal wall, potentially compromising the gut barrier’s integrity.
  • Bacterial Interaction: Neotame exposure increases biofilm production and bacterial adhesion to intestinal walls, factors which may contribute to gut dysbiosis and increased resistance to antibiotics.
  • Health Risks: The altered gut environment due to neotame could lead to health issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and possibly sepsis.
  • Mechanisms of Action: Researchers noted that neotame increases stress signaling in human cells, which reduces the junctions maintaining a tight barrier in the gut.
  • Clinical Observations: The findings suggest that patients, especially those with existing gastrointestinal issues, might need to be cautious about consuming products containing neotame.

“Our studies indicate that neotame causes an increase in stress signaling in our human cells which reduces the amount of junctions that hold our cells together in a tight barrier.”
– Havovi Chichger, Associate Professor in Biomedical Science at Anglia Ruskin University

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