Artificial sweeteners in Diet Coke are toxic to gut bacteria, study warns

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It’s one of the most popular soft drinks in the world, but it seems that Diet Coke may not be as safe as we think.

A new study has revealed that artificial sweeteners found in the drink are toxic to digestive gut microbes.

Researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev found that six artificial sweeteners – aspartame, sucralose, saccharine, neotame, advantame, and acesulfame potassium-k – are toxic to bacteria found in the digestive system.

Professor Ariel Kushmaro, who worked on the study, said: “This is further evidence that consumption of artificial sweeteners adversely affects gut microbial activity which can cause a wide range of health issues.”

Beyond Diet Coke, artificial sweeteners are used in a range of food products – including sports supplements and sugar-free condiments.

And worryingly, these artificial sweeteners have also been identified as potential environment pollutants.

Professor Kushmaro added: “The results of this study might help in understanding the relative toxicity of artificial sweeteners and the potential of negative effects on the gut microbial community as well as the environment.”

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