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Concept: Sugar substitute


Non-caloric artificial sweeteners (NAS) are among the most widely used food additives worldwide, regularly consumed by lean and obese individuals alike. NAS consumption is considered safe and beneficial owing to their low caloric content, yet supporting scientific data remain sparse and controversial. Here we demonstrate that consumption of commonly used NAS formulations drives the development of glucose intolerance through induction of compositional and functional alterations to the intestinal microbiota. These NAS-mediated deleterious metabolic effects are abrogated by antibiotic treatment, and are fully transferrable to germ-free mice upon faecal transplantation of microbiota configurations from NAS-consuming mice, or of microbiota anaerobically incubated in the presence of NAS. We identify NAS-altered microbial metabolic pathways that are linked to host susceptibility to metabolic disease, and demonstrate similar NAS-induced dysbiosis and glucose intolerance in healthy human subjects. Collectively, our results link NAS consumption, dysbiosis and metabolic abnormalities, thereby calling for a reassessment of massive NAS usage.

Concepts: Bacteria, Gut flora, Metabolism, Nutrition, Organism, Feces, Food additive, Sugar substitute


The negative impact of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages on weight and other health outcomes has been increasingly recognized; therefore, many people have turned to high-intensity sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin as a way to reduce the risk of these consequences. However, accumulating evidence suggests that frequent consumers of these sugar substitutes may also be at increased risk of excessive weight gain, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. This paper discusses these findings and considers the hypothesis that consuming sweet-tasting but noncaloric or reduced-calorie food and beverages interferes with learned responses that normally contribute to glucose and energy homeostasis. Because of this interference, frequent consumption of high-intensity sweeteners may have the counterintuitive effect of inducing metabolic derangements.

Concepts: Nutrition, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus, Sugar, Sweeteners, Sugar substitute, Sucralose, Sorbitol


The consumption of beverages that contain sugar is associated with overweight, possibly because liquid sugars do not lead to a sense of satiety, so the consumption of other foods is not reduced. However, data are lacking to show that the replacement of sugar-containing beverages with noncaloric beverages diminishes weight gain.

Concepts: Photosynthesis, Nutrition, Food, Malnutrition, Flavor, Carbohydrate, Sugar, Sugar substitute


The purpose of this study was to identify the risk factors associated with the masticatory dysfunction after maxillectomy using a colour-changing chewing gum. Thirty-nine patients who underwent maxillectomy between January 2002 and May 2010 in the Department of Kobe University Hospital were recruited for this study. There were 20 male and 19 female subjects, with a median age of 73·3 years (range of 44-90) at the time of surgery. The intra-oral conditions after maxillectomy were classified by HS classification, and the masticatory function was evaluated by a colour-changing chewing gum and the results of a modified Sato’s questionnaire. The scores of the colour-changing gum were closely correlated with the scores of the modified Sato’s questionnaire (r = 0·661, P < 0·01). A logistic regression analysis with the outcome variable of the gum test <4 demonstrated that significant predictors for the masticatory dysfunction were the number of anchor teeth ≤2 and a soft palate defect. A colour-changing gum was found to be useful for evaluating the post-operative masticatory function, and it was important to conserve the anchor teeth and the soft palate to avoid masticatory dysfunction.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Logistic regression, Hospital, Francis Galton, Soft palate, Palate, Hard palate, Sugar substitute


Neurobiological and genetic mechanisms underlying increased intake of and preference for nutritive sugars over non-nutritive sweeteners are not fully understood. We examined the roles of subnuclei of the amygdala in the shift in preference for a nutritive sugar. Food-deprived mice alternately received caloric sucrose (1.0 M) on odd-numbered training days and a non-caloric artificial sweetener (2.5 mM saccharin) on even-numbered training days. During training, mice with sham lesions of the basolateral (BLA) or central (CeA) nucleus of the amygdala increased their intake of 1.0 M sucrose, but not saccharin. Trained mice with sham lesions showed a significant shift in preference toward less concentrated sucrose (0.075 M) over the saccharin in a two-bottle choice test, although the mice showed an equivalent preference for these sweeteners before training. No increased intake of or preference for sucrose before and after the alternating training was observed in non-food-deprived mice. Excitotoxic lesions centered in the BLA impaired the increase in 1.0 M sucrose intake and shift in preference toward 0.075 M sucrose over saccharin. Microlesions with iontophoretic excitotoxin injections into the CeA did not block the training-dependent changes. These results suggest that food-deprived animals selectively shift their preference for a caloric sugar over a non-caloric sweetener through the alternate consumption of caloric and non-caloric sweet substances. The present data also suggest that the BLA, but not CeA, plays a role in the selective shift in sweetener preference. (232 words).

Concepts: Glucose, Carbohydrate, Sugar, Honey, Sweeteners, Stevia, Sugar substitute, Sucralose


Steviol glycosides with an ent-kaurene core are being used in the Food Industry as non-caloric sweeteners. These compounds are chemically similar in terms of sugar types and sugar arrangements. In order to assign sugar positions, we describe herein, the dissociation pattern for steviol glycosides under varying collision energies.

Concepts: Food, Sugar, Food industry, Stevia, Steviol glycoside, Sugar substitute


Sugar-sweetened beverages are a major source of free sugar intake in both children and adults, and are an important contributor to obesity and obesity-related diseases, including type 2 diabetes. We proposed an incremental and stepwise reduction in free sugars added to sugar-sweetened beverages by 40% over 5 years without the use of artificial sweeteners and assessed the effect of the proposed strategy on energy intake and weight status.

Concepts: Nutrition, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Obesity, Sugar, Sucrose, Soft drink, Sugar substitute


Past evidence has suggested a role of artificial sweeteners in allergic disease; yet, the evidence has been inconsistent and unclear.

Concepts: Pulmonology, Asthma, Immunology, Allergy, Rhinitis, Soft drink, Sweeteners, Sugar substitute


The reward value of food is partly dependent on learned associations. It is not yet known whether replacing sugar with non-caloric sweeteners in food is affecting long-term acceptance.

Concepts: Sugar, Sugar substitute, The Reward


BACKGROUND: Limited research suggests that alcohol consumed with an artificially sweetened mixer (e.g., diet soft drink) results in higher breath alcohol concentrations (BrACs) compared with the same amount of alcohol consumed with a similar beverage containing sugar. The purpose of this study was to determine the reliability of this effect in both male and female social drinkers and to determine if there are measureable objective and subjective differences when alcohol is consumed with an artificially sweetened versus sugar-sweetened mixer. METHODS: Participants (n = 16) of equal gender attended 3 sessions where they received 1 of 3 doses (1.97 ml/kg vodka mixed with 3.94 ml/kg Squirt, 1.97 ml/kg vodka mixed with 3.94 ml/kg diet Squirt, and a placebo beverage) in random order. BrACs were recorded, as were self-reported ratings of subjective intoxication, fatigue, impairment, and willingness to drive. Objective performance was assessed using a cued go/no-go reaction time task. RESULTS: BrACs were significantly higher in the alcohol + diet beverage condition compared with the alcohol + regular beverage condition. The mean peak BrAC was 0.091 g/210 l in the alcohol + diet condition compared with 0.077 g/210 l in the alcohol + regular condition. Cued go/no-go task performance indicated the greatest impairment for the alcohol + diet beverage condition. Subjective measures indicated that participants appeared unaware of any differences in the 2 alcohol conditions, given that no significant differences in subjective ratings were observed for the 2 alcohol conditions. No gender differences were observed for BrACs, and objective and subjective measures. CONCLUSIONS: Mixing alcohol with a diet soft drink resulted in elevated BrACs, as compared with the same amount of alcohol mixed with a sugar-sweetened beverage. Individuals were unaware of these differences, a factor that may increase the safety risks associated with drinking alcohol.

Concepts: Male, Gender, Alcoholic beverage, Drink, Soft drink, Drinking, Mix, Sugar substitute