Artificial sweeteners – like those used in diet sodas – can impair the liver’s ability to detoxify

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Artificial sweeteners – like those used in diet sodas – may impair the liver’s ability to detoxify and even process certain medications, study finds

  • Some artificial sweeteners used in products like diet sodas may impair the liver’s ability to detoxify, new research suggests
  • Artificial sweeteners Ace-K and sucralose, the latter used in Diet Pepsi, may inhibit liver protein
  • Proteins are responsible for the detoxification process and drug metabolism
  • The researchers say their data only comes from a lab test, which means it’s too early for them to draw far-reaching conclusions.

Opting for a “diet” soda instead of the regular version may not be the healthy choice many think, according to a new study.

Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin have found that the artificial sweeteners that replace sugar in many products may actually harm certain liver functions.

Both acesulfame potassium, often known as Ace-K, and sucralose have been shown to impair the liver’s ability to follow the detoxification process, and even impair its ability to properly process drugs.

Although aspartame, which is the most well-known and often used artificial sweetener, was not included in the study, the results have major implications for the millions of Americans who regularly drink diet sodas. and other similar “sugar-free” products.

Researchers have found that the artificial sweeteners sucralose and Ace-K can both negatively impact liver processes. Pictured: Flavors of Diet Coca Cola Watered Down with Ace-K

“We observed that sweeteners impacted PGP activity in liver cells at concentrations expected from consumption of common foods and beverages, well below the maximum limits recommended by the FDA,” said Dr. Stephanie Olivier Van Stichelen, who leads the research team.

“To our knowledge, we are the first group to decipher the molecular mechanism by which non-nutritive sweeteners impact liver detoxification.”

The researchers presented their findings this week at the Experimental Biology 2022 meeting hosted by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology this week in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

They conducted the study in a lab environment, where they tested the impact the sweeteners would have on liver cells.

Both types of artificial sweeteners inhibited the work of P-glycoprotein, which helps cleanse the body of toxins.

It also helps the body process drugs because protein affects how the liver metabolizes drugs.

The researchers note that their findings are still in the early stages of research and that these sweeteners cannot be entirely reversed.

Diet Pepsi (pictured) uses sucralose as its main sweetener

Diet Pepsi (pictured) uses sucralose as its main sweetener

Because the study was only conducted in the lab, not in humans themselves, it’s still too early to draw large-scale conclusions.

This is still a worrying sign for the many Americans who consume products using these sweeteners, especially since they are generally considered a healthier alternative to other foods.

Many artificially sweetened products use aspartame, which, although controversial, has been deemed safe by the Food and Drug Administration.

Aspartame is the sweetener used in Diet Coca-Cola, for example, while its main competitor, Diet Pepsi, uses sucralose.

The most dangerous sweetener is thought to be Ace-K, which Diet Coke uses in some of its fruit-flavored products.

The chemical sweetener has been linked to significant changes in a person’s gut microbiome, which can cause chronic inflammation.

There are also weaker links between the chemical and changes in brain function, although scientists are reluctant to draw the link until there is more evidence.

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